Skin Cancer Awareness
It may be surprising to know that skin cancer is actually the number one most common cancer in Ireland with almost 13,000 cases diagnosed per year. This is due in part to the fact that a large proportion of people living in Ireland have fair skin, which burns easily and tans poorly. Therefore, UV radiation, UV damage and skin cancer are more likely to occur. Outdoor workers are particularly at risk. May is Skin Cancer Awareness month the HSE and Healthy Ireland have resources and advice to assist outdoor workers to stay safe in the sun.
During the months of April to September the UV index is usually above 3, even when it is cloudy. A UV index of 3 or above means that you need to take measures to protect your skin. Stay safe by limiting time in the sun when UV is strongest, typically between the hours of 11am to 3pm. Check the UV index on the Met Eireann website.
SunSmart have developed the 5 S’s as a guide to protect yourself in the sun.
- Slip on clothing: Cover skin as much as possible, wear long sleeves, collared t-shirts, clothes made from close-woven material that does not allow sunlight through.
- Slop on broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen: Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30+ for adults and 50+ for children, with high UVA protection and water-resistant. Reapply regularly. No sunscreen can provide 100% protection, it should be used alongside other protective measures such as clothing and shade.
- Slap on a wide-brimmed hat: Protect your face, ears and neck.
- Seek shade: Sit in the cover of trees to avoid direct sunlight.
- Slide on sunglasses: Guard your eyes against harm by wearing sunglasses with UV protection.
For more sun safety advice for outdoor workers click on the following links: