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June 11, 1997

Media Dissemination of and Public Response to the Ultraviolet Index—United States, 1994-1995

JAMA. 1997;277(22):1751-1752. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540460017009

EXPOSURE to the ultraviolet component of sunlight may be associated with an increased risk for some skin cancers. The Ultraviolet Index (UVI) links a rating by the National Weather Service (NWS) of solar ultraviolet intensity (on a scale of 0 [minimal] to 10+ [very high]) to recommendations for appropriate sun-protection behaviors.* During the summers of 1994 and 1995, the NWS, in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the American Academy of Dermatology, the National Association of Physicians for the Environment, and CDC, disseminated UVI forecasts to selected major television stations and newspapers in the United States. In 1995, the Boston University School of Medicine conducted three surveys to evaluate how widely the UVI was televised, printed in newspapers, and used by adults (aged ≥18 years) to modify their behaviors to reduce exposure to ultraviolet light. This report summarizes the findings of the evaluation, which indicate generally high