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Poster contest sheds light on sun safety - Annual competition gives New Engand students a chance to raise awareness, win prizes; deadline is April 1

Release Date: 02/13/2008
Contact Information: Kathleen Nagle (617) 918-1985, nagle.kathleen@epa.gov

(Boston, MA – February 13, 2008) New England students can help raise awareness about sun safety and win prizes by entering the 2008 SHADE poster contest. The annual contest is a joint effort by the SHADE Foundation of America and the Environmental Protection Agency to teach children ways to protect skin from excessive sun exposure.

Too much sun can lead to skin cancer, cataracts and immune suppression. Sun protection education is especially important for children because unprotected exposure in childhood puts them at an increased lifetime risk for skin cancer.

“Limit the Sun, Not the Fun” is the theme of this year’s poster contest, which runs until April 1, 2008. Students in grades K-8 can submit hand-drawn posters on an 8.5 x 11 inch sheet of paper. Entries should be original, creative and suggest ways to prevent skin cancer and raise sun safety awareness.

Winning posters will receive state and national prizes, with the overall national winner receiving a trip for four to Disney World. WeatherBug Schools is also providing a scientific-grade weather tracking station as a national prize.

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

Most of the more than one million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed yearly in the United States are considered to be sun-related, according to the American Cancer Society. The best ways to lower the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer are to avoid intense sunlight for long periods of time and to practice sun safety.

More than 50,000 students have helped spread the message of sun safety by participating in the annual contest since its creation in 2003. Additional information on SunWise and the 2008 SHADE poster contest is available at http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/.

To learn more about activities in EPA New England, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region1.