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Corroon Proclaims SunWise Day in Salt Lake County

Release Date: 05/20/2009
Contact Information: Martin Jensen, Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation, (801) 468-2616, mjjensen@slco.org Pam Davenport, Salt Lake Valley Health Department, (801) 468-2757, pdavenport@slco.org

County promotes EPA’s sun safety initiatives through school, community outreach

DENVER, CO (May 20, 2009) – In an effort to encourage County residents to adopt sun-safe behaviors, Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon proclaimed today SunWise Day in Salt Lake County, Utah. This proclamation is part of Salt Lake County’s participation in SunWise Communities, a program developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that extends sun safety education through school- and community-based programs. The announcement also coincides with both Don’t Fry Day and National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Prevention Month in May.

“More people will be diagnosed with skin cancer this year than breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer combined, which is why sun safety and skin cancer prevention are such important issues to embrace,” said Carol Rushin, Acting Regional Administrator. “EPA is proud to partner with Salt Lake County in educating adults and children alike about the dangers of UV rays and the benefits of sun-safe behavior. EPA’s SunWise Program will help Salt Lake County families live sun-safe, healthy lives.”

As part of Mayor Corroon’s proclamation, Salt Lake County has asked area schools to participate in SunWise Schools, a program designed to teach children how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun. By using the SunWise Tool Kit, students learn about sun-safe activities, such as wearing sunscreen, seeking shade during midday hours, wearing a hat and sunglasses, and other actions that can significantly reduce their lifetime risk of developing skin cancer.

“We are pleased to promote healthy, sun-safe values in Salt Lake County by becoming a SunWise Community,” said Mayor Corroon. “We have a tremendous amount of outdoor recreation opportunities in Salt Lake County; it is important for families to understand and protect themselves from the hidden, prevalent dangers of UV rays while enjoying all the County has to offer. The SunWise Program takes an integrative and fun approach to encouraging life-long, preventive sun-safe behavior.”

Most skin cancers are directly linked to sun exposure; yet only 30 percent of adults report usually applying sunscreen, according to the National Cancer Institute.i This year, it is estimated that 62,480 U.S. men and women will be diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and 500 of these cases are expected to occur in Utah alone.ii While up to 90 percent of skin cancers are caused by sun exposureii,iv, the survival rate for individuals who detect melanoma early is nearly 99 percent.v

Salt Lake County will have SunWise information at all 10 Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation outdoor swimming pools this summer and in June will host a county-wide “Don’t Fry Day” event to encourage sun-wise behaviors. Additionally each County pool has partnered with a local school to provide SunWise teaching packets and interactive lessons. The Parks and Recreation staff throughout the summer will encourage Salt Lake County residents to incorporate sun-safe behaviors into their daily activities.

About SunWise
The SunWise Program is an environmental and health education program that aims to teach children and their caregivers how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun through the use of classroom-, school-, and community-based components. SunWise is the most widely used health and environmental education program in the U.S., with nearly 30,000 educators signed up to use the program nationwide.

CONTACT:
Martin Jensen, Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation (801) 468-2616, mjjensen@slco.org
Pam Davenport, Salt Lake Valley Health Department (801) 468-2757, pdavenport@slco.org
Wendy Chipp, EPA: (303) 312-6603, chipp.wendy@epa.gov

For more information about SunWise, visit www.epa.gov/sunwise or email sunwise@epa.gov.
For more information about Don’t Fry Day, visit www.skincancerprevention.org.
For more information about Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation visit www.recreation.slco.org



i National Cancer Institute, Cancer Trends Progress Report—2007 Update, http://progressreport.cancer.gov.
ii American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures, http://www.cancer.org
iii Armstrong, B.K., and A .Kricker, How much melanoma is caused by sun exposure?, Melanoma Research, 1993: 3:395-401.
iv Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Guidelines for school programs to prevent skin cancer. MMWR 2002;51 (RR-4):1–16.
v American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts and Figures, http://www.cancer.org
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