Sunshine causes 60,000 deaths a year says WHO

In collaboration with the Press Association

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that excessive exposure to sunshine is responsible for up to 60,000 cancer deaths around the world every year.

Around 90 per cent of skin cancers are caused by UV radiation from the sun.

The WHO report estimates that around 48,000 people die from UV-induced malignant melanoma every year, alongside 12,000 other fatalities from other forms of skin cancer.

Other health problems caused by excessive UV exposure include cataracts, a growth on the surface of the eye known as pterygium and cold sores, added the WHO.

"It is well established that most skin cancers are caused by damage from UV radiation," said Dr Laura Jane-Armstrong of Cancer Research UK.

"This report provides clear evidence of the dangers of over-exposure to the sun, highlighting the number of global deaths from skin cancer and other risks the sun can pose to our health. "Cancer Research UK's SunSmart campaign encourages people to enjoy the sun safely. Our key message is not to burn.

"To help protect yourself in the sun you should spend time in the shade during the middle of the day, cover up with a shirt and hat, and use factor 15+ sunscreen."

Visit Cancer Research UK's SunSMart website