July is the month that invokes memories of trips to the shore, the feel of increasingly hot temperatures and the traditions for celebrating America’s birthday. It should also bring to mind the smell of sunscreen as July is UV Safety Month.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those that work outside during peak hours are at risk for developing skin cancer if the correct precautions are not taken.
First and foremost, use sunscreen. Even when it’s cloudy out those UV rays can still cause damage to your skin. Be sure that it is a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and is at least SPF 15. Follow the instructions on the bottle to ensure you’re reapplying on time.
If possible, limit your exposure to the sun during its peak hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can check the UV index wherever you are with the Environmental Protection Agency’s UV Index tool.
Wear protective clothing such as long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats and UV-resistant sunglasses.
There are plenty of other tips and an IQ quiz about UV safety at the Federal Occupational Health’s website.