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Enjoy Summer Weather in New England: ‘Don’t Fry’ to Prevent Skin Cancer

Release Date: 05/27/2010
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – May 27, 2010) – With Memorial Day weekend signaling the unofficial start of New England’s long-awaited summer, EPA reminds everyone to protect their skin from too much sun by wearing hats, sunglasses and sunscreen, and seeking shade.

“Even as we all enjoy the good weather this time of year, and we want to enjoy some of New England’s splendid natural areas, we remind folks to protect their skin,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Too much exposure to the sun’s UV rays is the main cause of skin cancer. The good news is with simple steps, you can protect yourself and your family from too much sun. Remember to wear a shirt and hat, and use sunscreen and sunglasses.”

The number one preventable risk factor for skin cancer is overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, whether from the sun or an artificial light source. To educate the public about how to prevent skin cancer and cataracts, EPA has teamed up with the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to promote sun safety on the Friday before Memorial Day – “Don’t Fry Day.”

Skin cancer is largely preventable. While the incidence of many other cancers is falling, the incidence of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, continues to rise significantly. Melanoma is now one of the most common cancers among young adults ages 15 to 29. Further, every New England state except for Rhode Island is listed in the top 10 states of the U.S. with the highest incidence of skin cancer. More new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year than new cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer combined, with more than one million Americans affected every year.

Protecting your skin from too much sun is easy. Remember to “Slip, Slop, Slap, Wrap, and Seek Shade”: Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen (SPF 15+), slap on a wide-brimmed hat, wrap on sunglasses, and seek shade during midday hours.

In conjunction with “Don’t Fry Day,” schools across the country will be broadcasting the UV Index over their loud speakers, engage in SunWise activities, and hold school-wide sun safety events. The UV Index is a forecast of the next-day’s peak UV radiation level for any given location in the U.S., and can be accessed via mobile phones.

More information: 

To download the EPA’s UV Index application for smartphones, go to: www.epa.gov/enviro/mobile

State-specific Fact Sheets: http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/statefacts.html

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