Workers and families in the Central Highlands will be able to access real-time ultraviolet (UV) radiation data to protect themselves from overexposure as Central Highlands Regional Council plans to make Emerald the fourth place in Queensland with a real-time sensor.
Council’s Flood Mitigation Officer Bill Wilkinson and Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) Scientist Dr Stuart Henderson conducted a site inspection at the Emerald council building on Tuesday.
‘The project is part of council’s work in the emergency preparedness and warning system space,’ Mr Wilkinson said.
‘We approached ARPANSA expressing our interest in one of the sensors.
‘The response we received was positive with Dr Henderson visiting us to inspect the site on the Emerald council building.’
The initiative comes at a time when serious skin cancer cases surge across the state. More than 80 Queenslanders are hospitalised each day with deadly skin cancers such as melanoma.
Mr Wilkinson said with many people in the region working outdoors daily and current UV radiation data being modelled or predicted, the sensor will put the Central Highlands on the map to be sun smart.
‘The sensor detects UV radiation similarly to human skin and people will be able to access UV levels by the minute on the ARPANSA website or via an application like SunSmart.’
The project also provides ARPANSA health researchers, and the Bureau of Meteorology with another dataset on UV radiation. Currently twelve sensors collect real-time UV radiation data across Australia with a further four in Antarctica.
All Australians can access ARPANSA’s real-time UV data on the ARPANSA website.
Installation and commissioning of the sensor is likely to be completed by early July 2019 and data will be available on the website from this time.