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EPA urges everyone to play it safe in the summer sun

Release Date: 05/24/2010
Contact Information: Bonnie Smith, 215-814-5543, smith.bonnie@epa.gov

PHILADELPHIA (May 24, 2010) — As millions of families prepare to enjoy the great outdoors this weekend, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reminds everyone to bring their hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and seek shade. Why? Because overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun or artificial light is the number one risk factor for skin cancer. By taking these simple steps you can significantly reduce your risk.

EPA has teamed up with the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to help citizens be more aware of how harmful UV rays can be and encourage sun safety starting the Friday before Memorial Day – “Don’t Fry Day.”

More than one million Americans are affected by skin cancer every year. 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. The incidence of many common cancers is falling, but 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.

To reduce your risk of getting too much exposure to potentially harmful UV rays 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.

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

For more information on EPA’s sun safety program called SunWise see: www.epa.gov/sunwise