Sun monitor fitted to Raigmore Hospital in Inverness

UV radiation monitor The monitor at Inverness is one of three operated in Scotland

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A device that gathers information on UV radiation from the Sun has been installed on the roof of Raigmore Hospital in Inverness.

The monitor is one of only three in Scotland and was previously housed at RAF Kinloss in Moray.

Its three sensors measure the Sun's strength, intensity and duration.

The operators of the device hope to make the data available on a website to help people to better protect themselves against UV radiation.

The monitor has been moved to Raigmore following the closure of Kinloss as an RAF station.

Andrew Hince, NHS Highland consultant physicist and head of radiation protection, said the data will be turned into a UV index and made available to the public.

He said: "It is accepted that UV radiation can cause skin cancer and this monitor will allow scientists to follow patterns.

"The public can use it when it comes to being safe while out in the Sun.

"It will also help research into climate change and ozone concentration in the area."

'Higher risk'

Cathy Steer, NHS Highland's head of health improvement, too much exposure to the Sun could be harmful.

She added: "The fairer your skin, the more careful you need to be in the Sun.

"If you have fair skin, red or fair hair, lots of moles or freckles or a family history of skin cancer you may be at higher risk.

"The UV monitor at Raigmore hospital will allow people to access information about the strength of the sun's rays in Inverness and be able to take appropriate action to be sun smart."

Public Health England's Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards operates the monitors.

The centre's Dr John O'Hagan said live information could be uploaded to a website this summer.

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