Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Don’t Fry Day: Why Sun Exposure Concerns Everyone

“Sun exposure and African Americans?” – Well, I can say that as a young African American, it wasn’t perceived as an issue. Sure we spent countless hours outdoors – doing the things that Americans do in the summer: picnics, beach trips, playing baseball, etc. I heard about skin cancer and the perils of tanning. But we didn’t set out to the beach to tan; we went to enjoy the surf and the family time.

It wasn’t until I started working for the Stratospheric Protection Division at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that I learned a few other reasons to wear hats and sunglasses. Because the ozone layer is not expected to recover until about 2065, more ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is able to get through the ozone layer. UV radiation is a carcinogen just like tobacco smoke and asbestos, and it’s a primary risk factor for skin cancer and cataracts.

Read More HERE