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Protect Your Skin, Rain Or Shine

2013 May 21

Several links below exit EPA Exit EPA Disclaimer

 

By Lina Younes

In the United States, Memorial Day weekend is considered the kickoff of the summer season when we relax, enjoy outdoor activities and have fun under the sun. Some people even go the extra mile “to get ready” by visiting tanning salons in advance so they won’t seem so pale when they don their bathing suit for the first time. However, did you know that by tanning your skin, whether under the midday sun or in a tanning bed, you are actually damaging your skin? That “frying process” can actually cause skin cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States?

That’s why EPA,  its federal partners, and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention have come together to educate people about what they can do to protect their health and prevent skin cancer. The Friday before Memorial Day has been designated as “Don’t Fry Day” to make sure that people in this country enjoy outdoor activities while protecting themselves from the harmful ultraviolet rays that shine through even on the cloudiest days.

I confess that my attitude towards the sun has changed over the years. I was one of those that in my teens started using those tanning oils that basically “fried” me. However, with time, and increased awareness I’ve realized the harm I was doing to myself and now I use sunscreen instead when I’m going to be active outdoors. I’ve tried to do my best with my children teaching them to where sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats when they were on the swimming team or playing outside. Luckily, my youngest still is following my advice and happens to love wearing hats and sunglasses. While she does it for fashion purposes, I’m happy for the sun safety benefits as well.

Furthermore, the elderly have to take “additional”  steps for protection – simply they need to take steps to protect themselves.  Repeated sunburns during their youth can come back to haunt them in their golden years. Powerful UV rays can also cause cataracts. My parents, both in their 80’s, have lived most of their life in Puerto Rico. While Mom always uses sunscreen and sunglasses, she has been suffering of cataracts and sun-related damage to her eyes.   Dad, on the other hand, rarely uses sunscreen and he just had a basal cell carcinoma removed last year! At least the cancer was detected early and he is fine now.

So, regardless of your natural skin tone or where you live, you should protect yourself from those harmful ultraviolet rays. EPA has developed a free mobile app you can download to your smartphone with your local UV Index forecast. Have fun under the sun safely! Do you have any sun safety tips you would like to share with us?

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA. She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

9 Responses leave one →
  1. Arman.- permalink
    May 21, 2013

    This’ Not About The Sun, But …..

    Ya, Mrs. Younes, everything we do could be have impacts. Anything… The relationship between us and the weathers makes feet-back to the human that weak, alone and suffer. Oklahoma tornado shows, they’re, disasters, has broken all the things which he broke. Bow my head…..

  2. IDon'tGetIt permalink
    May 23, 2013

    I don’t get why this is an EPA program. It should be given to CDC. Skin cancer from sun is a health problem, yes, and people need the info, yes. But how did it get to be EPA’s job? It’s not a POLLUTION problem. Sunlight isn’t pollution. Can EPA explain how it is authorized to pay salaries and whatever expenses for this… what about a permanent furlough.

  3. MelanieCE permalink
    May 23, 2013

    To IDon’tGetIt:

    Cancer occurrence is a health-related issue. However, skin cancer, which is primarily caused by UV exposure is directly related to environmental issues. The ozone layer is what generally protects the beings on earth from approximately 97 % of the suns uv light which could cause serious damage to life forms. The condition of the ozone layer is being adversely affected by human and industrial activity and the emission produced during and by such activity. The EPA takes a part in regulation that is desinged to protect the ozone layer thereby maintaining the layer’s uv protective value which in-turn may help lower the risk and occurrence of skin cancer.

  4. sewa mobil permalink
    May 25, 2013

    i like this statement :
    In the United States, Memorial Day weekend is considered the kickoff of the summer season when we relax, enjoy outdoor activities and have fun under the sun. Some people even go the extra mile “to get ready” by visiting tanning salons in advance so they won’t seem so pale when they don their bathing suit for the first time. However, did you know that by tanning your skin, whether under the midday sun or in a tanning bed, you are actually damaging your skin? That “frying process” can actually cause skin cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer in the United States?

  5. Sandy Allen permalink
    May 27, 2013

    Actually, the CDC does have both an educational program and a research program. Its the EPA’s job because pollutants like chlorofluorocarbons can reduce the ozone layer, allowing more cancer-causing UV rays to come in. As a professional photographer here in Texas, I can tell who has been careful with their skin and who hasn’t. And the EPA has regulatory authority to reduce pollutants that can damage our atmospheric UV polution; the CDC does not.

  6. Lina-EPA permalink*
    May 28, 2013

    Thanks, everyone, for your comments. Keep them coming and stay Sun Safe and SunWise!
    Lina

  7. Yakinican permalink
    August 31, 2013

    In my country, many tourists do tanning under the scorching sun. I think, if they do it comfortably. To my knowledge, that nourish the skin to sunlight is between the hours of 7:00 to 09:00 it is very beneficial for our skin. If the past 10 hours we will burn skin by sunlight.

  8. nesta zhar permalink
    January 1, 2014

    Guys just sharing, I’ve found this interesting.

  9. sewa mobil surabaya permalink
    March 27, 2014

    nice artilce. alsome for your post.

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