Punta Arenas in the extreme south of Chile has released a Ultra Violet radiation alert recommending people to avoid photo-exposure, particularly between 10:00 in the morning to 16:00 hours in the afternoon, given the high (orange and red) levels registered in Punta Arenas and two locations in Tierra del Fuego.
Dr. Jorge Santander head of the Photo-exposure Program from the Magallanes Region Health Department said pedestrians should wear sun glasses, wide brimmed hats and a sun skin protector at least factor 15 and insisted on the six hour limiting exposure period. "People should organize their street errands before ten in the morning and after four in the afternoon", insisted Dr. Santander. Working in combination with the Ozone Lab from the Magallanes University, last Friday a maximum red alert, factors 8 and 9, were recorded in Porvenir and Natales, Tierra del Fuego, while in Punta Arenas the alert was orange with an UV radiation index of 7. The Photo-Exposure program this season is not only distribution literature in Spanish on UV radiation and the ozone layer, but also in English to arriving tourists warning them of the necessary precautions. To further create awareness of the UV radiation danger, hats are handed out, a present from the local government and Photo-exposure office. The UV radiation investigation in the Magallanes University is also partly funded by the Japanese Cooperation Alliance and includes joint research and data gathering with Rio Gallegos in Argentine Patagonia. Dr. Santader said that his office also has several teams working with the most exposed high risk labour groups such as deliveries, construction and forestry.