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Time Spent Driving May Increase Skin Cancer Risk

New research presented to the American Academy of Dermatology reveals a correlation between the amount of time spent in a car and skin cancer development. Researchers at Saint Louis University School of Medicine found that people who spend a significant amount of time in the car are more at risk of developing skin cancer on the left side of their bodies.    

Researchers attribute this risk to two factors.  First, side window glass filters out only UVB radiation, letting UVA radiation through.  UVA is the type of ultraviolet radiation thought to contribute more to non-melanoma skin cancers.  Typically automobile's side and rear windows are made from non-laminated glass that is designed to block UVB rays but not UVA rays. Also, when drivers keep the windows down, they expose their left arms and sides of their faces to harmful UVA and UVB rays.   

Researchers note that studies have shown that tinting automobile glass or using UV filters on windows helps reduce the amount of UVA that penetrates the glass.  A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher and sun protective clothing can also be used to further minimize the risk of UV exposure in the car.  

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Tanning Accountability and Notification Act of 2007

February 8, 2007 Senator Maloney of New York introduced HR945 to the 110th Congress.  The bill requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the FDA, to address the current labeling requirements for indoor tanning equipment.  The current labeling will be reviewed to determine if it provides the consumers with sufficient information regarding the hazards of tanning, and the irreversible damage that the use of the tanning beds causes.  In addition, they will review the positioning of the warning label on the tanning equipment. 


If passed, HR945 will require that the Secretary of Health and Human Services submit a report to Congress of the FDAs findings.  In addition, they will be required to report on the measures they are implementing to reduce the risks associated with indoor tanning devices. 


Source: (2007). Thomas: Bills, resolutions. Retrieved February 22, 2007, from Library of Congress Web site:

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Skin Cancer education being considered in the NV Senate

AB 78 would require the NV State Board of Education to adopt sun safety curricula in grades K-12 throughout the entire state.  The bill notes that the rate of incidence of skin cancer in Nevada is 24.48 cases per 100,000.  This is compared to a nationwide incidence of 18.30/100,000.  6.7 percent of the cases of cancer in NV are melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.  This is 1.3 times greater than the national average.


The proposed bill would require several things to be included in the curricula, such as: skin cancer facts, the harmful effects of UV radiation, and behaviors to reduce skin cancer risk.


The bill has been referred to the Committee on Education.



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