UV Awareness

person shading eyes under blazing sun

Last updated on July 15th, 2022 at 09:28 am

Co-written by Charlotte Halverson and Carey Portell

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and is related to repeated exposure to the sun, which causes damaging changes to a person’s skin.

Exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays is most intense between 10 AM and 4 PM. Remind your patients that if possible, they should: limit work in the sun during those hours; hydrate well with water or non-caffeinated beverages; avoid alcoholic beverages; wear wide-brimmed hats wear loose cotton clothing; and apply sunscreen with an SPF factor of 30+ every two hours. To reduce the risk of early cataract development and macular degeneration, sunglasses should meet ANSI UV requirements and indicate UV protection. Important: check prescription medication information for sun sensitivity! (Agricultural Safety and Health eXtension Community of Practice).

Farmers are more susceptible to skin cancer as they are working in the elements daily. Agricultural workers don’t need x-rays or blood tests to find skin cancer early – just their eyes and a mirror. Educate your patients on what it might look like. If an individual has skin cancer, finding it early is the best way to make sure it can be treated successfully!


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