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Immediate Release June 28, 2005 - Contact: David Chauvin - (516) 869-7794


Manhasset, NY- North Hempstead Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilman Tony D’Urso remind residents to protect yourself and loved ones from the harmful UV rays. School is out and if it's time for your family to hit the beach or pool, heed this important warning: skin cancer is on the rise and is the most common cancer in the United States.

"According to the American Cancer Society, the number of skin cancer cases has been increasing steadily in the United States," commented Supervisor Kaiman. "The ACS estimates that more than one million cases of basal cell or squamous cell cancer will be diagnosed this year. The ASC also estimates that another 59,580 people will be diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and 7,770 will die of this disease.”

Medical experts agree that most skin cancers result from over-exposure to the sun’s rays. The risk increases with long-term over-exposure (such as severe sunburn), particularly during childhood. “Sunburn will fade, but damage to deeper layers of skin remains and can eventually cause cancer. That's why sun-safe habits should begin in childhood and last a lifetime,” stated Councilman D’Urso.

Harmful UV rays of the sun pass through clouds, so it is wise to practice skin protection on cloudy days too. “Sunscreens should generally be applied every 1½ to 2 hours or after swimming, perspiring or toweling off,” stated Supervisor Kaiman. “There is no such thing as all-day protection because the active ingredients in sunscreens degrade in the sun after about two hours.”

Here are some guidelines for sun safety that will allow you to enjoy outdoor activities while protecting you and your family:

  • Use sun-screen that protects against ultraviolet (UV) radiation with a sun protection factor of at least 15. Apply at least 20 to 30 minutes before going into the sun.
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat that provides protection for your face and neck.
  • Wear light-colored clothing, including a loose-fitting shirt and long pants to reduce exposure.
  • Plan outdoor activities before 10:00 a.m. and after 4 p.m. when the sun's rays are weakest. Continue to protect your skin if you are in the sun during these times.
  • Wear safe sunglasses that absorb both UV-A and UV-B light. Sun damage to the eyes can lead to cataract formation.
  • Keep infants away from direct sun exposure, especially babies under six months of age. Minimize sun exposure for those over six months of age and take measures to avoid sunburn and skin and eye damage from the sun.
  • Seek shade. Remember to use canopy strollers and umbrellas for infants and toddlers.
  • Avoid sun tanning parlors.
  • Beware of reflected light from surfaces such as sand and concrete.
  • Check your skin regularly. Keep an eye out for unusual growths, changes in moles or colored areas, or sores that won't heal. Consult your doctor with any concerns of skin changes.

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