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 aging 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 UVB
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
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
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 standards.
Do you know that in Australia, certified sun
protective clothing is more popular than
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
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.
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