Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources of the Republic of Singapore

05/07/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/08/2024 07:22

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Safety Measures for Extreme UV Levels

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Safety Measures for Extreme UV Levels by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment

Ms Yeo Wan Ling: To ask the Minister for Sustainability and the Environment in view of the ultraviolet index in Singapore hitting extreme levels recently, what factors is the Ministry taking into consideration when ensuring the safety of the population, including students and workers whose workplaces are situated outdoors.


1 Singapore experiences high ultraviolet index (UVI) levels throughout the year due to our location near the equator. Based on our data, there is no significant upward trend in UV Index levels over the past decade, both in terms of the number of days with extreme UV Index levels, and the duration of extreme UV levels each day. We do see seasonal variability, with the months of February, March and April generally having the highest number of days with high UVI levels.

2 Over the years, the government has already taken steps to protect the general public from the effects of UV radiation. Our urban environment is designed with adequate shade and greenery to reduce UV exposure outdoors. The public is advised to check the UV levels on the myENV app and weather information website, and take appropriate precautions to protect their skin and eyes, such as by wearing protective clothing, applying sunscreen, and seeking shade especially during the peak UV hours of 11am to 3pm.

3 The government has also put in place sector-specific guidelines for various segments of the population. For example, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) regularly reviews Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) measures to address the risks faced by outdoor workers. This includes encouraging employers to allow outdoor workers to take rest breaks under shade and reschedule outdoor work to less sunny parts of the day where possible. For schools, the measures include avoiding physical outdoor activities during the peak UV hours to minimise students' exposure to UV radiation, and advising students to take appropriate UV protection measures, such as using sunscreen. We will continue to monitor UVI levels and take additional measures where necessary.