PHILADELPHIA -- Every hour, one American dies from skin cancer – the number one cancer in the U.S. To help people learn easy ways to combat the disease, the U.S. EPA SunWise program has partnered with the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to designate today, the Friday before Memorial Day, as “Don’t Fry Day.” EPA encourages Delaware residents to learn about and practice sun-safe behaviors this “Don’t Fry Day” to reduce overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation – the main cause of skin cancer.
“Whether families and friends are going to the beach, a baseball game, or enjoying a backyard event, everyone should put on sunscreen and wear clothing and sunglasses that protect them from harmful UV rays,' said EPA’s mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. 'If you don’t do this already, I encourage you and your family to start this healthy habit today.”
Each Memorial Day weekend, millions of Americans kick off the summer season and begin enjoying the great outdoors. Though skin cancer risks exist all year long, the dangers are even greater during the summer months, when the days are longer, and more people are outside for longer periods of time. The rate of new melanoma diagnoses—responsible for 75% of all skin cancer deaths—was 23% higher in Delaware than the national average from 2002-2006 and was the 9th highest in the U.S.
For “Don’t Fry Day,” EPA encourages everyone to practice the Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap sun-safety tips:
- Slip on a shirt, preferably with sleeves;
- Slop on SPF 15+ sunscreen generously;
- Slap on a hat; and
- Wrap on sunglasses.
SunWise also recommends that families seek shade during the sun’s peak hours between 10 a.m. and
4 p.m. Checking the UV Index to plan outdoor activities is also key for identifying times that pose the greatest risk for overexposure to the sun.
In the U.S., skin cancer affects more than two million people each year, outnumbering the cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. One in five Americans will develop the disease in their lifetime. Meanwhile, melanoma—the most serious form of skin cancer— is on the rise. It is the most common cancer among young adults ages 25 to 29.
Listen to EPA’s regional children’s health coordinator talk about ways to avoid over exposure to the sun;
For more on “Don’t Fry Day” and additional sun safety resources, including a sun safety packing list and new public service announcements created by kids in K-8, go to: http://www.epa.gov/sunwise/dfd.html.
EPA’s SunWise program is a national environmental and health education program that teaches children and their caregivers how to be safe in the sun through the use of classroom-, school-, and community-based components. To learn more about free SunWise resources, download the UV Index widget or smart phone application, or sign up to receive daily UV Index forecasts, visit www.epa.gov/sunwise.