Researchers at Lund University have found that our skin protects us against the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun by converting the radiations from the rays to heat. This is done through a chemical reaction that releases protons from the molecules of the pigment.
This pigment is called Eumelanin. "We found that eumelanin converts harmful UV radiation into heat with almost 100 per cent efficiency. The chemical reaction is incredibly quick, taking less than a thousandth of a billionth of a second," Villy Sundstrom, Professor of Chemistry at Lund University, revealed.
The researchers found that the energy from UV rays is converted into harmless heat by a chemical reaction, which ensures that the rays do not cause harm to the surrounding structures, "By understanding how the body naturally protects itself against UV light, we can develop better sun protection products based on the same principles. This would provide better protection against skin cancer," said Sundstrom.
The study is published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.