Shine On

Wristband tells you when you’ve had too much sun

A wristband that indicates your level of sun exposure is currently being developed. (Thinkstock)On lazy summer days, it's easy to spend far too much time in the sun, being happily ignorant of impending sunburn until it's too late. That will change next summer when a new sun-monitoring disposable wristband hits the market.

The wristband changes from yellow to pink as the risk for sunburn increases.

The technology was developed at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, with plans to commercialize the technology by Swedish company Intellego Technologies in the spring of  2013.

"The device helps to indicate to users when they have been exposed to a certain amount of UV (ultra-violet) radiation by changing a visual warning of when it is time to get out of the sun," the press release states.

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The Daily Mail explains how it works:

"It operates through an acid-release agent which picks up ultraviolet light and a dye which responds to pH levels in the indicator. The agent is decomposed by sunlight, leading to the rapid change in colour."

"It will make a significant contribution to public health as an affordable, fashionable device which enables people to enjoy the benefits of the sun while at the same time keeping them alert to the risks of over- exposure," says Fiona Strang, commercialization manager with the University of Strathclyde's Research & Knowledge Exchange Services.

TIME reports that each wristband, "much like the paper bracelets worn at concerts," will likely cost just 15 cents and can be tossed in the garbage at the end of the day.

Different bands will be tailored for different skin types, warning fairer-skinned individuals to seek shade sooner than those with darker complexions (and subsequent higher UV tolerances), the Daily Mail reports.

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Skin-cancer prevention technologies like this one are worth paying attention to. Health Canada reports that one-third of all new cases of cancer in Canada are skin cancer, most of which are preventable with proper sun-exposure strategies.

The Canadian Cancer Society warns that the risk of skin cancer is higher for people who have light-coloured skin, eyes and hair, who work or play in the sun for long periods of time, who have had several blistering sunburns in childhood, or who take drugs that boost sensitivity to UV light.

Health Canada's safety tips include avoiding the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., or covering up with long sleeves and a hat if sun avoidance isn't an option. Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen that's at least 15 SPF, and be sure to reapply according to bottle directions — especially after swimming or sweating.

Would you wear a sun-monitoring bracelet as a reminder in the sun?

Watch the video below for some foods that may protect you from the sun.

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