Sun Safety is important as kids are spending more time outside this summer when families go to outdoor outings and head to vacation destinations. With the nice weather and sunshine that comes with summer, it’s nearly impossible to stay indoors.
Join Greater Houston Orthodontics and the Environmental Work Group (EWG) in their efforts, along with dermatologists and sunscreen companies, to educate the public when it comes to the truth about sunscreens and sun safety.
Sun Safety – Skin Cancer is on the Rise
Did you know that every year, more than two million Americans find out they have skin cancer? And of those two million people, 2% are in their teen years! That equates to 40,000 teen agers per year developing skin cancer.
The rate of melanoma deadly skin cancer has tripled since the 1970s. Experts are still not sure as to why, but most consider the outbreak in new cases is because of the widespread overexposure to sun. This is especially true among adults who were repeatedly sunburned as a child. There are several factors which suggest that regular sun exposure may not be as harmful as intermittent and high intensity sunlight.
While many Americans are aware of the dangers of ultraviolet rays, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is still a high rate of sunburn episodes in people of all ages.
This might be due to poor quality sunscreens and misleading advertising. Products and ads persuade people that sunscreen products are protecting skin more than they actually are and as a result, consumers overexpose themselves to the sun.
Want to learn more on what’s wrong with high SPF? Simply click here.
It’s important to empower you and your family to take charge of your bodies when out in the sun. Don’t let commercials and ads do the thinking for you.
Read this list with information about what not to take with you when going on vacation. Recent studies reveal that those wearing hats and protective clothing are less likely than those wearing sunscreen at preventing skin damage and skin cancers over a lifetime.
Why Europe Has Better Sunscreens
The EWG estimates half of the beach and sunscreen products sold in the United States fail to comply with European Union recommendation for UVA protection.
In Europe, sunscreens must offer UVA protection that is at least a third as potent as the SPF (sunburn protection factor), the measure of the product’s ability to shield against UVB rays that burn the skin (European Commission 2006, Colipa 2009). In other words, if a product advertises SPF 30, its UVA protection must be at least 10.
European companies are able to meet high European Union standards for effectiveness because they can pick and choose among 27 different chemicals, including seven that are designed to filter UVA rays. Studies of these chemical show some of they appear to offer significant advantages over U.S. sunscreen chemicals.
Companies that make sunscreens for the U.S. market can use only 17 chemicals approved by the FDA, including just three chemicals that screen UVA rays. That, in comparison, is a huge difference.
Until the FDA approves new ingredients that are safe and provide strong UVA protection as well as UVB protection, American manufacturers are challenged when it comes to making products as effective as products found in Europe. Also, it is illegal to sell European products in the U.S. which further comprises varying choices for consumers.
The FDA’s weak regulations allow nearly every sunscreen product to claim “broad spectrum,” or UVA protection, even though some are clearly much better than others. These weak regulations give manufacturers little incentive to improve their products for the consumer while misinforming them about their effectiveness.
Under these circumstances, consumers are in the worst possible position. Due to the system the FDA has in place, people are likely to think that their sunscreen is providing more protection than it really is, stay out in the sun longer and thus increasing their risk of skin cancer and skin disease.
The entire team at Greater Houston Orthodontics at our Memorial Office and West University Office hopes you all have a great summer and remember when out in the sun for extended periods of time, make sure you are protected with clothing and practice smart sun safety.
For answers to more FAQ about Sun Safety, click here.