Burning time is the maximum time to stay unprotected without receiving sunburn. This is calculated from the UV energy equivalent of 1 MED as the basis.
MED: Minimal Erythemal Dose - Is the effective UV dose that causes a perceptible minimum reddening/tanning of previously unexposed human skin. The exact energy equivalent differs by a factor of 2 depending upon individual sunburn sensitivity.
Each value given in each of the categories represents an approximate mid-point value for a range. In the monthly solar reports the sensitive group appropriate to Category 1 is used with a MED of 200 J m-2 effective.
|What Skin Type Are You?|
|Category||People covered||Approximate MED|
|Category 1: (burners)||most UK indigenous groups||< 300 J m-2 effective|
|Category 2: (tanners)||mostly non-UK indigenous and non-naturally pigmented groups||600 J m-2 effective|
|Category 3: (naturally brown)||mostly Asian and middle and south American groups||800 J m-2 effective|
|Category 4: (naturally black)||African and Caribbean groups||1000 J m-2 effective|
Source Health Protection Agency
See also global solar UV index at WHO