The sun supports life on our planet, but its life-giving rays also pose dangers. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes premature aging of the skin, wrinkles, cataracts, and skin cancer. There are no safe UV rays or safe suntans.
Pointe Coupee Parish is home to many waterways including beautiful False River. Many of our parish residents spend their summer days enjoying outside activities such as boating, water skiing, and fishing. With these outdoor activities comes exposure to the sun and harmful ultraviolet (UV) light. In order to understand and reduce the harmful effects of exposure to the sun, the Center for Disease Control and Skin Cancer Foundation have published the following information related to sun and UV exposure.
Annual Number of New Cancers, 1999-2015
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun can penetrate and alter skin cells, causing skin texture to change, age prematurely, and possibly lead to skin cancer.
The most common type of skin cancer is basal cell and squamous cell cancers which are highly curable. The third most common skin cancer is melanoma which is more dangerous.
Adults over age 40, especially men, have the highest annual exposure to ultraviolet light.
The majority of people diagnosed with melanoma are white men over the age of 50.
Skin cancers comprise one to two percent of all cancers in African Americans and Asian Indians.
The hours between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM daylight savings time are the most hazardous for UV exposure.
Protection from UV light is important all year round, not just during the summer.
Wear clothing to protect the skin.
Wear a hat with a wide brim to shade the face, head, ears, and neck.
Wear sunglasses that wrap around and block sun rays.
Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher that protects against ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays.
Avoid indoor tanning beds.