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Truck Drivers Urged To Wear Sunscreen


It’s that time of year again, time to double-up on the sunscreen.

On April 3, 2012, the DOT approved window tinting for commercial vehicles, but tinting is not enough to protect your skin during those long hours on the road.

Drivers, did you know that the sun that comes through your windows can contribute to skin cancer?  In fact, the most common place skin cancers  are found are on the left side of a person’s body– the side of the body the sun hits while driving.

“Professional drivers learn to wear proper safety equipment, be it gloves, steel-toed boots or safety glasses when appropriate,” Fosko says in the news release. “Sunscreen should be added to the list. An ounce of sunscreen applied as prevention on the road can be worth a lot of time and expense parked in a doctor’s office later on.”

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 68,000 people were diagnosed with melanoma in 2010 and 8,700 died from the disease.

[pullquote align=”right”]”Truckers would certainly be a group who would want to be aware of UV exposure while driving,” says Kelly Paulson, a co-author of  University of Washington study.[/pullquote]

Most Common Types of Skin Cancer:

  • Melanoma: Melanoma begins in melanocytes (pigment cells). Most melanocytes are in the skin. See the picture of a melanocyte and other skin cells.Melanoma can occur on any skin surface. In men, it’s often found on the skin on the head, on the neck, or between the shoulders and the hips. In women, it’s often found on the skin on the lower legs or between the shoulders and the hips.Melanoma is rare in people with dark skin. When it does develop in people with dark skin, it’s usually found under the fingernails, under the toenails, on the palms of the hands, or on the soles of the feet.
  • Basal cell skin cancer: Basal cell skin cancer begins in the basal cell layer of the skin. It usually occurs in places that have been in the sun. For example, the face is the most common place to find basal cell skin cancer.In people with fair skin, basal cell skin cancer is the most common type of skin cancer.
  • Squamous cell skin cancer: Squamous cell skin cancer begins in squamous cells. In people with dark skin, squamous cell skin cancer is the most common type of skin cancer, and it’s usually found in places that are not in the sun, such as the legs or feet.
*Information taken from Cancer.gov.

Types of Sunscreen-

Sunscreens come in different varieties and with different sun protection factors.  When choosing a sunscreen, select a product labeled “Broadspectrum.” This will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.  Also, select a sunscreen that has a minimum of 15 SPF; however, if you are fair skinned, you should choose an SPF of 30 or greater, but no more than 50 SPF is necessary.
Sunscreen should be applied generously to any part of the body that will be exposed to sunlight, once every two hours.

What To Look For:

Do you have any moles or freckles that look suspicious?  Here’s what to look for:
Follow that ABC’s of skin cancer detection by the American Cancer Fund.
alt  Asymmetric:  If you draw a line through this mole, the two halves will not match.
alt  Border:  The borders of an early melanoma tend to be uneven. The edges may be scalloped or notched.
alt Color:  Having a variety of colors is another warning signal. A number of different shades of brown, tan or black could appear. A melanoma may also become red, blue or some other color.

 alt Diameter:  Melanomas usually are larger in diameter than the size of the eraser on your pencil (1/4 inch or 6 mm), but they may sometimes be smaller when first detected.

alt Evolving:  Any change ” in size, shape, color, elevation, or another trait, or any new symptom such as bleeding, itching or crusting ” points to danger.

You cannot undo the damage the sun has already done to your skin, but you do have the power to prevent further damage.



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