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EPA Urges All Americans: Cast Your Vote Now Against Skin Cancer Pick Best Children's Posters from Across the Country

Release Date: 05/05/2008
Contact Information: Dave Ryan, (202) 564-4355 / ryan.dave@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. -- May 5, 2008) As part of National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, EPA’s SunWise program invites Americans to vote for the winner of the 2008 Limit the Sun, Not the Fun national sun safety poster contest. This contest, co-sponsored with the SHADE Foundation of America and WeatherBug Schools, gives children the opportunity to create messages to help prevent skin cancer, the most common of all cancers and one that will be diagnosed in over one million Americans in 2008 alone.

"EPA and its partners are tapping into children's creativity, while boosting efforts to educate children and communities about the need for sun protection," said Robert J. Meyers, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. “As we get ready for summer, we’re reminding families and schools that simple steps like using sunscreen, staying in the shade, and wearing protective clothing can greatly reduce their risk.”

“It’s so rewarding to see that 13,000 more children now understand how they can be safe in the sun,” said Shonda Schilling, Founder and President of the SHADE Foundation. “With experts saying one in five children will grow up to develop skin cancer, the growth and success of this contest and SunWise is vitally important to protect our children’s health.”

The annual contest is a collaborative effort to teach children ways to protect their skin and eyes from overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Out of the 13,000 posters submitted this year, 43 state winners were selected by a panel of judges. http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/postercontest.html

Since the contest’s start six years ago, well over 60,000 posters have been submitted. State winners have been entered into online voting for one national winner. Online voting is open to the public until May 31.

EPA is co-sponsoring this year’s contest through its SunWise Program, an environmental and health education program that uses classroom and community-based tools to teach children and their caregivers how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun.

The American Academy of Dermatology has designated May as National Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month, dedicated to increasing public awareness of the importance of skin cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment. There are more new cases of skin cancer each year than the number of breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancer cases combined. This special month always includes a Melanoma Monday on the first Monday of May. The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 62,000 Americans will be diagnosed with melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer, and more than 8,400 will die from the disease.

The SHADE Foundation of America is dedicated to the eradication of melanoma through the education of children and the community in the prevention and detection of skin cancer and the promotion of sun safety. http://www.shadefoundation.org

The WeatherBug Schools Program provides school teachers nationwide with a program allowing them to use current and historical weather conditions in interactive, online lessons and activities that use data from their own weather station or from any of the 8,000 weather stations and 1,500 cameras on the WeatherBug Schools Network. http://www.weatherbugschools.com

Vote for your favorite poster and find more information on the SunWise program at http://epa.gov/sunwise/