Shade: sun safety
Shade is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. It can reduce overall exposure to UV radiation by 50%.
Seek out or create shade
Shade can be natural or built.
Natural shade includes shade created by trees and other foliage. Good sources of natural shade come from tall, leafy trees, such as the maple or linden.
For more information on which trees provide the best option for shade, see the Canadian Cancer Society’s How to make your own shade at home resource.
Built shade can be portable or permanent.
Portable shade structures offer a temporary shade solution. Good sources of portable shade include:
Permanent shade structures offer long-term shade solutions and are built to accommodate many people. They are durable, can withstand harsh weather, can minimize the impact of UV radiation and can be used in all seasons. Possible sources of permanent shade include:
What is Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)?
- Many clothing and shade structure manufacturers now offer materials that can protect you from the sun. These fabrics come in different degrees of protection, and are rated with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF).
- When choosing clothing or shade structures, look for a UPF of 15 to 50 or higher.
- This fabric will allow only 2% to 6% of UV radiation to pass through, blocking at least 94% of UV rays from reaching your skin.
- The weave and colour of a fabric can affect its UPF. Look for fabrics that have a tight weave and are a dark colour. If you raise your clothing up to a light and light passes through, the sun’s rays will do the same and expose you to UV radiation. Darker colours absorb more UV radiation and, therefore, provide better sun protection.
Remember, seeking out or creating shade is one way to be sun safe. There are many ways to protect yourself.
Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition (2010). Shade Guidelines. Updated 2019. Retrieved from https://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/8ecf-AODA_Shade_Guidelines_2010_Final_Report-002.pdf on August 7, 2020.
Canadian Cancer Society (2019). Canadian Cancer Society’s SunSense Shade Planning Guide. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.ca/~/media/cancer.ca/ON/prevention%20and%20screening/live%20well/Sunsense/SSN%202019%20EN/SSN_19452_ShadeGuide_EN_2019.pdf?la=en on August 27, 2020.
Cancer Council Western Australia. 2012, The shade handbook: A practical guide for shade development in Western Australia, Cancer Council Western Australia, Perth. ISBN: 1 876628 61 8 November 2012. Retrieved from https://www.cancerwa.asn.au/resources/2013-03-06-the-shade-handboook-web.pdf on August 7, 2020.
This item was last modified on August 27, 2020