UVA/UVB (UV) sun exposure, skin cancer and even melanoma are an ever increasing health threat for everyone. Solartex carries numerous products such as UV hats, a wide-brimmed sun hat variety, sunscreen, swim shirts, sun protective clothes, baby sunglasses and other items to keep you and your children safe in the sun without ruining the fun! Below are some informational links regarding UV sun protection:
Solartex is committed to educating parents, other caregivers and children about protecting themselves against the harmful rays of the sun and preventing skin cancer all year round. The earlier that children learn these lessons the better, since sun exposure begins in earliest childhood. The more that children are exposed to the sun, the greater their chances of permanent skin damage and even skin cancer.
Sunburn in childhood - Just one blistering sunburn in childhood is estimated to double the risk of getting melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, later in life. Preventing sunburns in children should result in reductions in skin cancer in the future. Protect your children wherever they are, including camp, the pool, theme parks, the beach, the lake, etc.
Who is vulnerable to skin cancer? People who burn easily in the sun and who lack natural pigment protection, are most at risk for skin cancer. Typically, people with fair skin, blonde or light-colored hair, green or blue eyes and people who freckle easily are at greatest risk. Skin cancer can occur in people of Hispanic and African American backgrounds, as well as people with darker complexions. Certainly, people who have had a family member with melanoma should pay special attention to sun protection. Anyone can develop skin cancer! More teenagers and young adults are being diagnosed with skin cancer than ever before. This includes a rise in the deadliest form of skin cancer - melanoma.
Children and teens will always try to make their own decisions on everything. However, if you practice good sun protection when your children are very small, they will be the ones reminding you to wear sun protective clothing, sun protective swimwear, UV hats, swim shirts, sunscreen, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed sun hat, and hopefully in the teen years will avoid tanning parlors and excess sun exposure.
UV Sun Safety Information from the Skin Cancer Foundation:
Protect Yourself and Your Family All Year Round
Dress for Sun Protection, excerpted from the Skin Cancer Foundation web site:
The sun provides us with life itself, and with many of its pleasures. Yet the sun is enemy as well as friend. More than 90% of all skin cancers are the result of exposure to the ultraviolet radiation of the sun. Does this mean you should never go out in the sun? No one gives this advice. What we do advise is that every person follow the common-sense practices of sun protection - minimizing exposure when the sun is at its peak, wearing protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, using a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. These tips are particularly important for babies and children.
High-SPF Clothing is Here
Clothes may make the man, but if you're not careful, they may also make you tan. New research from the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA, suggests that the most popular summer garb - shirts and polo shirts - may not adequately protect against solar ultraviolet radiation (UV) and skin cancer.
Fortunately, new "highly UV-protective" clothing is available. And even standard attire provides good sun protection if you know what to look for.
The Well-Dressed Mouse
In the Morehouse study, typical summer shirt fabrics, with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 6.5, were compared against new "special" fabric with a broad-spectrum SPF over 30. The researchers separated hairless mice into four groups of 10: one not exposed to UV; one exposed to UV but unprotected by fabric; one shielded by typical fabric, and one by high-SPF fabric.
For 12 weeks, all groups but the first were exposed to modest but increasingly higher doses of solar-simulating UV on their backs 5 times a week. When the irradiation ended, nine mice in the unprotected group and six in the typical clothing group had premalignant lesions. After 12 more weeks, all mice in these two groups had squamous cell carcinomas (SCC). In contrast, the mice protected by high-SPF fabric showed no reddening, or erythema, throughout the study, and developed no cancers or precancers.
Although the radiation doses required to produce SCC are lower in hairless mice than in humans, the relative degree of protection provided by the typical and special fabrics is the same for both rodents and people. "Thus, the fact that precancerous and cancerous lesions were initiated through the typical fabric is reason for concern," says head researcher J. M. Menter, Ph.D. "Sun-sensitive people who spend a good deal of time outside may be at significant risk for skin cancer even while wearing such fabric. Appropriate sun apparel, however, should offer effective protection against both short-term and long-term photodamage."
The new high-SPF clothing, developed for patients with photosensitive skin or skin cancer, is an obvious choice for appropriate sun wear. Containing colorless compounds, fluorescent brighteners, or specially treated resins that absorb UV, the clothing often provides an SPF of 30 or higher. Some emerging materials, such as resin-coated Japanese formulations, may vastly increase this protection. A team at the University of New South Wales in Australia has developed an astonishing compound that imbues pure close-knit cotton with an SPF of 100.
Tried and True
Even if you don't want to hunt for the special fabrics, a growing body of research shows that a variety of everyday apparel offers excellent sun protection. Some textile fibers, such as polyester crepe, bleached cotton, and viscose, are quite transparent to UV and should be avoided in the sun. But other standard fibers have high SPFs. Unbleached cotton, for example, contains lignins, pigments that act as powerful UV absorbers, while high-luster polyesters and even thin, satiny silk can be highly protective because they reflect radiation.
Weave may be even more important than fabric type. In general, the tighter the weave or knit, the higher the SPF. To assess protection simply, hold the material up to a window or lamp and see how much light gets through. Darker clothes also generally have a higher SPF.
Remember, virtually all garments lose about a third of their sun-protective ability when wet. Also, no clothing can protect you head to toe; be sure to wear sunglasses, and use an SPF 15+ sunscreen on all exposed skin.
Skin cancer risks in general:
Risks for men
Risks for women
Risks for teens/children