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NOAA develops an online index for monitoring the ozone layer

The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration has developed an online index for researchers, and the public, to use to track the recovery of the ozone layer.  "The ozone layer is the protective shield that prevents harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the [earths] surface." 


David Hoffman, the director of NOAAs Global Monitoring Division, believes that if the use of ozone depleting chemicals continues to decrease, the Antarctic ozone hole could be gone by the years 2075-2080, and the midlatitude ozone layer by the years 2045-2050.  He notes however, that other factors such as climate change can affect the long term recovery.


Hoffman says that they designed the Ozone Depleting Gas Index to make it simpler for the general public to follow and understand the worldwide effort to save the ozone layer. According to the website, scientists will update the index every year. 


Source: (2006, Dec 20). New online index provides information to the public on ozone hole revocery. Retrieved January 2, 2007, from NOAA News Online Web site:

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Partners Improve Skin-Self Exam Success

A new study published in the Archives of Dermatology says teaching people skin self-examination (SSE) with their partner rather than alone significantly improves the likelihood that the person will perform SSE and find problematic lesions.  SSE is an effective strategy to reduce mortality of the disease.  Partners can provide social reinforcement for SSE and can assist in checking locations that are difficult for the patient to see like the scalp, back, ears, and back of legs.  Including partners in SSE training is a simple and cost-effective method of reducing the burden of skin cancer and should be considered a legitimate prevention method.


June K. Robinson.  Partner Assistance Improves Skin Self-Examination for Detecting Melanoma Arch Dermatol. 2007;143:37-41.


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AB 105 CA Tanning Legislation

The Filante Tanning Facility Act of 1988 is the existing law in the State of California which provides for the regulation of tanning facilities by the Department of Consumer Affairs.  AB 105, introduced by Assembly Member Lieu, and Co-Authored by Assembly Member Emmerson, is an act to amend the existing legislation pertaining to tanning facilities.  As the law currently stands, tanning facilities are required to provide a written warning statement to customers, post warning signs, and prohibit them from claiming that using a tanning device is free from risk.  In addition, it prohibits a person under the age of 14 from using a tanning device, and requires parental permission for 14-18 year olds. 


AB 105 amends the current law to require that the written warning of health risks be given to the customer before they tan, that warning signs be posted conspicuously around the tanning device, and most importantly it prohibits a person less than 18 years of age from tanning.  This is a critical change to the current law when you consider that approximately 90% of skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV radiation. 


Skin cancer is the most easily prevented type of cancer.  The United States Department of Health and Human Services lists exposure to solar UV radiation (via sun, sunlamps, or sunbeds) as a known human carcinogen in its Report on Human Carcinogens (9th ed).  It also notes that the longer the exposure to UVR the greater the risk, especially to those under the age of 30.    


After a second reading by the Senate on July 25, 2007, AB 105 was re-referred to the Senate Appropriations Committee.  A hearing has been set for August 20, 2007. 



Official California Legislative Information.  Retreived July 21, 2007 from

(2000, May 15). US Dept of Health and Human Services; NIH News. Retrieved July 21, 2007, from Fact sheet: The report on carcinogens - 9th edition Web site:



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