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ARPANSA expands ultraviolet radiation monitoring

16 May 2019

We’re pleased to be partnering with the Central Highlands Regional Council to establish Queensland’s fourth location for collection of real time ultraviolet (UV) data.

The planned installation of a UV sensor in Emerald, Queensland adds to our existing network of UV monitoring equipment in 16 locations across Australia and Antarctica.

Real-time monitoring is a vital resource in protecting Australians from the harmful effects of UV radiation. With an increase in the prevalence of deadly skin cancers such as melanoma, it’s important to know when UV reaches dangerous levels.

ARPANSA Scientist Dr Stuart Henderson visited Emerald last week to conduct a site inspection at the council building.

‘We were approached by the Central Highlands Regional Council. They were very keen to become involved in the UV network,’ Dr Henderson said.

‘There are a lot of outdoor workers in the Emerald region and it’s valuable to have real time information about when sun protection is required.’

The sensor to be installed in Emerald detects UV radiation similarly to human skin, producing a UV Index. Sun protection is recommended when the UV Index reaches 3 or above.

The project provides our researchers, and the Bureau of Meteorology, with another dataset on UV radiation to contribute to improvements in UV forecasts as well as providing the public with real-time data for their region.

The sensor will be installed in Emerald in the coming months and we look forward to sharing UV data from the Central Highlands as we work to expand our network.

Access UV levels by the minute through our website and other tools like the SunSmart app.