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Skiers Can Burn

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Aired 11/24/10

A new study finds skiers can be exposed to harmful levels of ultraviolet radiation, even on overcast days. Out of 32 ski resorts in the country, the highest U-V readings were found at California's Mammoth Mountain.

— A new study finds skiers can be exposed to harmful levels of ultraviolet radiation, even on overcast days. Out of 32 ski resorts in the country, the highest U-V readings were found at California's Mammoth Mountain.

The 32 ski resorts were all at high altitude and located in western North America. Researchers measured UV readings directly off the sun, off the snow, and off the sky.

Lead researcher Peter Andersen is a professor of health communications at San Diego State. He said the readings were all over the map.

"They range from almost non-existent on a snowy day in the middle of winter, to absolutely intense," Andersen said. "At our own Mammoth Mountain, we've had readings of ten, which is what you'd get at Mission Beach in June."

Andersen says skiers tend not to use extra sun protection on high UV days. He says many skiers mistakenly think they can get a sunburn only when it's warm.

Andersen says ski areas are like tanning beds, with UV coming at people from all directions. He believes skiers should always use sun protection.

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