As Summer Gets Underway, Celebrate Don’t Fry Day and Learn How to Be Sun Safe

Saturday, 25 May 2024 13:04

As Summer Gets Underway, Celebrate Don’t Fry Day and Learn How to Be Sun Safe Featured

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, along with the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, is recognizing the 16th annual “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage Americans to take a few simple steps to protect their skin and eye health while outdoors. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can increase the risk of developing skin cancer and cataracts, so it is important to be aware of the strength of the sun’s UV rays and take simple steps to protect your skin and eyes while outdoors.

“Remember to protect your skin and eyes from UV rays before you go outdoors,” said Joseph Goffman, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “Don’t Fry Day is a great annual reminder of the importance of sun safety, and you can use the EPA’s UV Index app to get the UV forecast for your location and tips on how to be sun safe.” 

Almost 20% of Americans will develop skin cancer. Since many skin cancer cases are caused by overexposure to UV radiation, protecting your skin outdoors is an important step to reducing your skin cancer risk. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2024, more than 100,600 new cases of invasive melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, will be diagnosed in the United States. This is approximately 3,000 more cases than were estimated in 2023.

All people are equally at risk of eye damage and developing cataracts, but some people may be at greater risk of contracting skin cancer depending on the color of their skin, a history of blistering sunburns in early childhood, the presence of many moles, or a family history of skin cancer. Also, although sun safety is especially important in summer when we spend more time outdoors, UV can be high throughout the year depending on factors such as location, elevation, and reflective surfaces like sand and snow.

The EPA, the National Weather Service, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention work together to make the UV Index forecast available in the United States. The EPA’s UV Index app (search for the EPA’s UV Index in the App Store and on Google Play) is a convenient tool to let you know the strength of the sun’s skin cancer-causing UV rays. The app gives daily and hourly UV intensity forecasts for your location, provides recommendations on sun safety, and is also available in Spanish. Reduce your risk of skin cancer and eye damage by remembering to:

  • SLIP! – Slip on a long-sleeved shirt or other clothing that covers your skin.
  • SLOP! – Slop on a handful of sunscreen with sun protection factor 15 or higher, and re-apply every two hours, or sooner if in the water.
  • SLAP! – Slap on a broad-brimmed hat to cover the back of your neck and the tips of your ears.
  • WRAP! – Wrap on a pair of sunglasses. The kind that wrap around the sides of your face provide more sun protection.
  • Avoid tanning beds and minimize sunbathing.
  • Check the UV Index before spending time outdoors and dress appropriately.

Download Don’t Fry Day and sun safety posters, sign up for a daily UV Index forecast via email, or check the UV Index online daily on the EPA’s sun safety webpage.

Last modified on Saturday, 25 May 2024 13:06

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