Working outdoors puts many at high risk for skin cancer
Ideas on sun safety at work include attaching a back flap to a construction helmet to cover the back of the neck, reducing sun exposure where possible, and using an SPF 30 or higher sunscreen. If you work outdoors, you have a high risk for developing skin cancer because you are regularly exposed to the sun for long periods of time, according to the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA).
Adding to the danger for outdoor workers is the fact that you are often in the sun during those times in the day when the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which will harm the skin, is at its strongest between 12 noon and 2 pm.
The CDA is focusing on sun safety for outdoor workers during its 2007 National Sun Awareness Campaign now underway. The good news is that skin cancer is largely preventable. You can protect yourself in these ways:
. Try to limit the amount of time you work outdoors in the sun from 11 am to 4 pm.
. Seek shade from buildings, trees, canopies, etc, as much as possible, especially during lunch and coffee breaks.
. Wear a wide-brimmed hat (more than 8 cm or 3 inches). Attach a back flap to a construction helmet to cover the back of the neck and a visor for the front of the face.
. Wear clothing that covers as much of the body as possible. Fabrics which do not let light through work best. Make sure clothing is loose and comfortable.
. Apply an SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB) sunscreen to all exposed areas of skin before you go outside. Reapply at midday or more often if you are perspiring heavily. Apply a broad spectrum, SPF 30 lip balm.
More information, posters and fact sheets are available online at www.dermatology.ca/outdoorworkers.
For Skin Cancer information I went by the Canadian Dermatology Association's website and it is a large site. I have not yet got to read the whole thing. If you find information we should have here let me know.....
The Skin Cancer Foundation is another great website for information on skin cancer.
They recommend that everyone use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more. They also grant its seal of recommendation to sunscreen products of SPF 15 or greater that meet the foundation's criteria as "aids in the prevention of sun-induced damage to the skin." Recipients of the seal of recommendation consititute a continually changing list.
Each year some products may be deleted, others may be added. Thus, we suggest that you send a self-addressed, stamped, envelope requesting the most current listing to:
Skin Cancer Foundation
245 Fith Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Or see on the web
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