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German Cancer Aid makes the world’s first UV warning beach flag

I love this. It's so simple, and so smart. Berlin creative agency Heimat has worked with German Cancer Aid to create the world's first Sun Warning Flag - a dedicated flag and warning system that alerts beachgoers of dangerous UV radiation. Bbecause the most dangerous thing about the sea is not the sea. It’s the sun! 

Every year 400 people die in Germany by drowning, but 8 times more people die of melanomas caused by the sun’s radiation. So it was increasingly clear that a new kind of beach warning flag was needed: The world’s first Sun Warning Flag. Right next to the well-known green flag (low hazard), yellow (hazard) or red flag (high hazard), a new black flag (high skin cancer hazard) is now erected when the UV Index reaches critical levels.

The new flag features an eye-catching black-on-black design: an iconic black sun on a black flag, based on the concept of ‘melanoma’, which comes from the ancient Greek for black: „μέλανος“. The iridescent aura of the black melanoma sun shows the colour code of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) UV index, the international standard measurement of the strength of the sunburn-producing UV radiation since 1994.

The new Sun Warning Flag has now been submitted to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in order for it to be implemented worldwide.

From now on, beach-goers merely need to watch out for the new Sun Warning Flag. For more location-based details about the current UV level - and for helpful tips about protection from harmful rays - beach visitors can check the microsite on their smartphones (via QR Code on the flag pole).

Because the most dangerous thing about the sea is not the sea. It’s the sun.

Partners and supporters:

German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe)

Dermatological Prevention Working Group (DPWG) e. V. (Arbeitsgemeinschak Dermatologische PrävenGon (ADP) e. V.)

German Lifesaving Society (DRLG)

German Federal Office for RadiaGon ProtecGon (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz) German Weather Service (Deutscher Weeerdienst)

UV Protection Alliance (UV Schutzbündnis)

Skin Cancer Network Germany (Hautkrebs-Netzwerk Deutschland e.V.) Timmendorfer Beach Office (Timmendorfer Strand Niendorf)

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This is a great idea. I can't believe it hasn't ben done before.