Is Your Sunscreen Protecting You?

But skin cancer, described by the American Cancer Society as the most common cancer in America, is an increasing risk the more time spent under the sun. "I do cover up with some sunscreen", James Wright, another Springfield resident said. "Sunscreen should be accessible in schools to prevent sunburns".

Rules are similar in many summer program and daycares across the country as well. For Friday's "Don't Fry Day", the American Cancer Society is cautioning that many people may be using sunscreen improperly, not only limiting its effectiveness but potentially increasing their risk of skin cancer.

"I think a parent's note should suffice".

As the United Kingdom this week enjoyed an early heatwave, six out of 10 people polled said they were unaware that the SPF - Sun Protection Factor - rating displayed on labels does not alone guarantee protection from potential sun damage. "It does have medical ingredients in it and someone could have a reaction". Ranging from 1 to 11+, this scale lets you know how intense the UV radiation is expected to be for the day in your zip code, and recommends specific actions to take based on that intensity to protect your health against the sun.

So what's the most effective way to use a sunscreen?

"Sunscreens are important, no doubt", Wender said. Same goes for Marietta City Schools' elementary schools. "Don't always trust them", said Dr. Jody Hershey, director of the West Piedmont Health District.

"We try to be as safe as we can. I even use zinc myself", she said.

The question of the effectiveness and usefulness of sunscreen products revolve around a number of factors.

"Any amount of time in the sun can be damaging", he said.

But, even if the sun isn't shining, it can still pose a danger to the skin.

For more information on how to protect your skin, visit the American Cancer Society's website. "If you're going to be outdoors for three hours you apply maybe halfway through". That can lessen exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun's rays.

From ages 15-39, men are 55 percent more likely to die of melanoma than women in the same age group. Rhode Island, Louisiana and Florida are now considering similar legislation.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration only requires manufacturers to test their own products, and the FDA doesn't regularly conduct its own tests on sunscreens, Hershey said. "For example, in West Virginia children are required to get the hepatitis A vaccine before they go into kindergarten but in OH they do not". If the product says that it's water-resistant, it must also specify on the packaging whether it lasts for 40 or 80 minutes while swimming or sweating.

Day cares are also able to apply the sunscreen after parents have given permission in OH, according to state regulations.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF) - I recommended sunscreen with an SPF between 30 and 50. Sunscreen is one of them.

¯Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon. The label does not extend to UVA rays which go deeper into the skin and speed up skin aging, cause skin cancer, and suppress the immune system.

"To protect our skin from the sun we want to slip on a sun protective shirt, wear sun-protective clothing", Hood said.

May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month.

  • Zachary Reyes