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Do you know that scientists believe that both UVA
and UVB cause health problems – but the SPF
numbers on sunscreens only rate UVB protection?
Premature ageing of the skin, cataracts, immune
suppression, skin cancer (including basal cell carcinoma,
squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma), and many
symptoms of lupus can be attributed to both UVA rays
and UVB rays.
Currently, sunscreen SPF rating only measures how well
it protects against UVB rays. However, the FDA is in the
process of changing the SPF scheme to also include
information about the level of UVA rays protection
provided. Due to various delays the FDA has not yet
completed publication of a new standard, so for now
consumers need to make their own assessment of the
level of UVA protection provided by a sunscreen.
Do you understand the difference between UVA and
Ultraviolet radiation (UV) is a portion of the
electromagnetic energy spectrum produced by the sun. It
is commonly split into three bands: UVA, UVB, and UVC.
UVC rays completely absorbed by ozone and oxygen,
and does not reach the surface of Earth. UVB rays are
mostly absorbed by ozone, although some reaches the
Earth under normal conditions and even more will reach
the surface because of ozone depletion (this is a huge
issue in Australia). UVB rays are in cycles according to
the time of day, season, latitude, altitude and so on.
UVA rays are not significantly absorbed by ozone and
pass through to the Earth’s surface. UVA rays do change
due to time of year, latitude, etc., although not as much
as UVB rays. To protect against UVA, you need to protect
yourself year round regardless of where you live in the
US. SwimZip will help you with that.
Do you know how much sunscreen you need for
only ONE week of a family vacation?
6 to 12 standard 4 oz bottles!
Most experts recommend using 1 oz of sunscreen (a shot
glass) per application to cover an adult and reapplying it
every 2 hours. A family of 2 adults and 2 children, in the
sun for 6 hours per day (needing 3 applications of
sunscreen), spending most of their time swimming, would
need at least 2 bottles of sunscreen each day (using
standard 4 oz bottle or tube). For a 6 day vacation that
same family would need at least 12 bottles or tubes.
Do you know tanning salons cause severe skin
damage and skin cancer? Do you know Americans
spend at least three times as much money on
tanning salons as they on sunscreens?
Estimates of the size of the tanning salon industry vary
from $2 billion to $9 billion (a huge range we agree).
Even the low end of this range, $2 billion, is significantly
greater than the $600 million spent on SPF 15 or higher
sunscreens and sunblocks. Women are the main
customers for both tanning salons and for sunscreen -
young women are the most frequent customers at
tanning salons and women of all ages use sunscreen
significantly more than men. With this date, SwimZip is
dedicated to educating adults and children about sun
Do you know that normal summer clothing does not
fully protect you against the sun?
It is particularly true for people with very fair skin and for
light weight summer clothing. In fact, a comprehensive
analysis of the UV protection provided by regular summer
clothing was published in BioMed Central in 2002. The
scientists, led by Dr. Gambichler, tested 236 different
garment fabrics. They found that fewer than half the fabrics
analyzed provided as much protection as a SPF 30
sunscreen. They concluded it was difficult for sun sensitive
consumers to choose the "right" garment unless garments
were tested and labeled in accordance with appropriate
Do you know that in Australia, certified sun
protective clothing is more popular than sunscreen?
Australia has had significant public health issues with skin
cancer. One result is that all clothing labeled “sun
protective” is regulated by a Federal agency – this agency
is similar to the EPA in the US. Almost 4 million garment
hang tags with serial numbers are issued by a Federal
government laboratory each year. The combination of ease
of use and government certified protection has proven so
popular in Australia that the market for sun protective
clothing is now much bigger than the sunscreen market.
Do you think this will ever happen in the USA?
Do you know that skin cancer can kill you?
Many people believe that skin cancer is a relatively
harmless disorder. All you have to do is visit your doctor,
have it removed, and life goes on with no problems.
However, approximately 10,000 Americans were killed by
skin cancer last year. Approximately 8,000 of these deaths
were from malignant melanoma, while the remaining 2,000
deaths mostly resulted from squamous cell carcinomas.
The biggest danger is letting skin cancer go untreated – if
you are not sure about a mole or freckle that has changed
in some way – you should always make an appointment
and have it examined by a physician.