The sun is “public enemy no. 1” these days, as specialists warn us the ultraviolet radiation index has reached dangerous levels. Thus, on a scale of 0 to 11, the UV index rose, on Wednesday, in Southern Romania, above 8, with Constanta and Bucharest on the top positions, with 8.8 and, respectively, 8.5 units. That is to say, the index was “very high”, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Yesterday, however, the UV index surpassed, for the first time this year, in Romania, the 9 units’ threshold. According the National Meteorological Administration (ANM), Constanta was, once again, in the top position, with 9.1 units, followed by Braila and Galati, with 8.7, Bucharest – 8.5, Brasov and Timisoara – 8.3, Drobeta Turnu Severin – 8.2, Craiova – 8.1 and Bacau – 8.
ANM representatives argue, however, that a level of UV radiation above 9 is not a cause for concern, as it is within normal values for this time of the year, especially on the seaside. “I wish to remind you that the scale for these indicators was modified and now varies between 0 and 15, therefore, an index of 9.1 in Constanta is nothing out of the ordinary. The population should not be alarmed. Of course, they should avoid lying in the sun around noon, while they should drink a lot of liquids,” the meteorologist on duty at ANM stated, quoted by evz.ro.
In turn, the ANM director Ion Sandu claims that there have always been two scales for the measurement of UV radiation levels, one up to 15, the other, up to 11. “In Romania the index very seldom amounts to 11 and this is why there was no need to use the 0 to 15 scale. There is nothing to fret about – this is what the people must realize. Even 11 is a value very seldom reported in Romania,” Sandu stated.
The physicians argue, however, that the radiation risk should not be underestimated. “When you knew that the maximum radiation level was 11 and the index already reached 9, you were seriously concerned. Now, it seems a long way to 15. This is a measure meant to prevent panic, but the level of radiations is still very high,” Dr. Oana Clatici, dermatologist at the Bucharest University Hospital, stated. Both the radiation alert and the doctors’ warnings failed to scare the Romanians on vacation on the seashore. Few people know that ten minutes spent lying in the sun, between 11am and 4pm, can cause sun burns and even tumours. Worst still, most of them choose to ignore the health hazards. The news regarding the future weeks are hardly more encouraging. Thus, according to information supplied by ANM and coming from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast, the following two months of summer will be characterized by high temperatures and very little rain throughout the country.