The U.S. EPA’s SunWise program teaches students and adults about how to practice safe sun. Overexposure to harmful UV rays in sunlight can cause health effects such as skin cancer, cataracts and a weakened immune system. I especially know to practice safe-sun because of my fair skin, light eyes and red hair which make me more vulnerable to sunburn and other harmful effects from the sun. Days at the pool as a kid always involved lots of sun screen and wearing a t-shirt over my swimsuit into the water. Even as an adult, I still make sure I practice safe sun by always wearing sunscreen and sunglasses when going outdoors. You can help raise awareness about the importance of practicing safe sun by entering the 2013 SunWise with SHADE poster contest. Students in grades K-8 can visit http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/postercontest.html to see previous winners and apply by April 1, 2013. Participating students are eligible for prizes, including a grand prize of a family trip to Disney World. While you are practicing how to protect yourself from the sun, share your ideas with other students in a creative way!
Shelby Egan is a student volunteer in the EPA’s Air and Radiation Division in Region 5, and is currently obtaining her Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has a passion for protecting natural resources, cities she’s never been to and cooking any recipe by The Pioneer Woman.