The Town Council of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in collaboration with the Hospiten Group has put into operation a new system, in the form of a traffic light, which reminds people the danger of ultraviolet radiation and the importance of avoiding prolonged exposure to the sun during the hours of greater intensity. The device, a pioneer in the Canary Islands, is located at the entrance to Las Teresitas beach, and advises users of the hours with higher ultraviolet radiation levels.
The traffic light, totally autonomous in its power supply thanks to the solar energy plate in the upper part, has 5 different levels and depending on the radiation levels detected by a sensor, it advises of the level of risk (low, medium, high, very high and extreme).
The device was presented by the Councilor for the Environment, Carlos Correa, together with the first deputy mayor and Councilor for Security, Zaida Gonzalez; the board member of the Hospiten Group, Diana Cobiella, and the president of the Provincial Board of the Spanish Association Against Cancer in Tenerife (AECC), Juan Julio Fernandez.
Mr. Correa indicated that the installation "represents an important advance, since the Canary Islands have a spectacular climate throughout the year. The city of Santa Cruz, with this initiative, wants to draw the attention of citizens to be careful with solar radiation. Sometimes we only focus on protecting the skin on the beach, but it must also be taken it into account by all those who perform sports or outdoor activities.
Ms. Cobiella, meanwhile, expressed her support for the AECC "in sensitizing the public through the campaign in the fight against skin cancer. The incidence of skin cancer has grown exponentially in the last decade and most cases are determined by the exposure of the skin to the sun. With this traffic light we intend to remind people that we must avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially in those hours when the radiation levels are higher and, therefore, more dangerous to our health ".
Mr. Fernandez thanked the collaboration of the city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife and the Hospiten Group and said that, "prevention is always better than the cure, because in the case of skin cancer up to 40% of cases can be avoided following certain healthy habits that we aim to promote with the launch of this awareness campaign".
The initiative is part of the campaign that the AECC is carrying out to make the public aware of the importance of taking preventive measures against skin cancer. This is particularly important in a place like the Canary Islands, where the ultraviolet radiation index is very high throughout the year and is listed as the highest in all of Spain.
The traffic light aims to attract the attention of beach users to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially in the time zone between 12:00 and 16:00 hours because it is the time in which the radiation levels are higher.
The initiative also offers advice on how to adequately protect our skin from the sun based on our skin type, recommending the use of sunscreens with a factor of at least 30 or more. These products should be applied before going to the beach and, once on the sand, must be repeated every two hours. It is also advisable to use umbrellas, caps and other clothing that can protect our skin from direct exposure to sunlight.
The adoption of these healthy habits can contribute to stopping the development of skin cancer and melanoma, one of the diseases of higher incidence in the Canary Islands. In fact, both have increased exponentially in the last ten years making the sun the main cause as, in most cases, skin cancer and melanoma are related to ultraviolet radiation on the skin.