We all love sunny days, but the sun can be damaging to our health without the proper precautions. Holes in the Earth’s natural defence against ultraviolet (UV) rays – the ozone layer – have left us at an even higher risk for skin cancer.
The role of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit is to raise awareness about these and other sun/UV dangers and to promote sun safety
Skin cancer is a serious possible side effect of too much sun exposure. Despite Canada’s reputation for being a “cold” country, on average Canadians are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer than those in “sunny” countries because we are closer to the hole in the ozone layer above us. In fact, at current rates, approximately 1 in 7 Canadians will develop skin cancer in their lifetimes.
Here are a few sun safety tips:
- Cover up – wear a wide brimmed hat and long sleeved shirt and pants, and use sunscreen (SPF of 30 or more that protects against UVA and UVB) on any exposed skin
- Seek shade – avoid going outside between 11am and 5pm, and keep within shady areas whenever possible
- Wear sunglasses – choose glasses that offer 100% UV protection
- Don’t use tanning beds
- Check the UV index for Thunder Bay and area every day
Tanning beds are not a safe way to get a tan. They do not help you “get a base” before going to a sunny destination. Any discolouration of your skin, whether it is a sun burn or a tan, means you are damaging your skin. Long-term effects are premature wrinkling and aging of the skin, and a higher risk of skin cancer.
As of May 1, 2014, it is illegal in Ontario to provide tanning services or advertise them to children under 18 under the Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds)
For Further Information
Call the Family Health Team: (807) 625-5900
toll free: 1-888-294-6630