UV and Microwave Radiation
Actually, UV radiation inflicts its damage by the creation of the highly reactive singlet oxygen (O), a reactive oxygen species (ROS) (though not technically a free radical), via the breakage of the bonds of diatomic oxygen (O2) found in the skin. The singlet oxygen ROS will then wreck havoc by damaging DNA, mitochondria, and the cell wall, and can very well bring about the death of a cell. The damage caused by a single hit of the singlet oxygen ROS is autocatalytic in nature in that it will set off a chain reaction where more and more (hundreds of) free radicals are created, which hence cause more damage.
It is said that 80% of vitamin C stores in the skin are depleted after just half an hour in the sun. Since vitamin C is also an antioxidant preventing free radical damage, its depletion can very well lead to skin cancer.
Interestingly, there is ample evidence to suggest that the now ubiquitous exposure to UV's cousin, microwave radiation, causes the same kind of reactions in the body - since microwaves are in fact used specifically to create singlet oxygen in technical applications - and perhaps on a much deeper level since we know that microwaves can penetrate the body deeper than UV.
Research has actually shown very clearly that exposure to microwave radiation caused the formation of free radicals while also depleting the body of its vitamin C stores, on top of depleting the body of a number of its natural antioxidants like superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione, CoQ10, and melatonin.
Actually, one of the major mechanism's by which nuclear radiation causes damage is by the creation of a flood of what is called they hydroxyl (OH) ROS when water in the body undergoes ionization after being subjected to ionizing radiation.
So, what can one do to protect oneself? Well, eating lots of tomatoes, which contain lycopene, one of the most powerful singlet oxygen quenchers is one important strategy. And since we also know that vitamin C is depleted, taking it in large doses is should help to replenish what is being lost just by living in this world.
Taking lots of other kinds of antioxidants would also probably be a very good idea since there are a number of different kinds of free radicals/ ROS (Superoxide O2-, Hydrogen Peroxide H2O2, Lipd Peroxyl LOO, Nitric Oxide NO, Alkoxyl RO, Peroxyl ROO, and Peroxynitrite ONOO) formed in the body and specific antioxidants are known to be good at mopping up these specific free radicals.
Some antioxidants shown to have protective abilities are grape seed extract, gingko biloba, vitamin E, milk thistle, bilberry, blueberry, leutein, zeaxanthin, carotene, astaxanthin, CoQ10, and ALA to name a few.
Since microwave radiation has also been shown to lower counts of a white blood cell called natural killer (NK) cells - which are the body's first line of defense against pathogens and known to attack and destroy both cancer and virally-infected cells - it might also be a good idea for those concerned about their health to take a natural product called Transfer Factors, shown to considerably boost NK cell counts.