Skin cancer cases in the USA is rising, and this is caused primarily by exposure to harmful UV radiation. Yes, you can use sunblock or avoid going outdoors, but UV radiation can get to you even when you aren’t outside.
Utahns and Their Higher Risk of UV Exposure
Living elevated means dealing with higher concentrations of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Every 1,000 feet of elevation coincides with a 7 percent increase in the strength of harmful UV rays. Salt Lake City residents are exposed to almost 28 percent more UV radiation, and Park City residents get as much as 49 percent additional UV. If you have fair skin, you’re also more vulnerable to UV radiation damage and skin cancers — same as almost 90 percent of Utahns. The combination of these two factors has put Utah at the top of the list when it comes to the number of skin cancer cases in the USA.
Your Own Home Isn’t Safe
You might think that staying indoors will protect you from UV, but it does not. Unless you lock yourself in your room all day and bar your windows, you’re probably still being exposed to dangerous UV. Large windows or glass doors that let you see the outside may make your house look beautiful, but they also expose you to more UV. Nobody wants to wear sunscreen inside the house, and nobody wants a home without windows. A straightforward solution to this problem is treating your glass doors and windows with UV filtering film. Most window companies offer this service and treatment can usually be done in a single day. UV filtering film can block up to 99 percent of harmful UV rays, allowing you to save that sunscreen when you go outside.
Driving to Work Puts You at Risk
The majority of skin cancers in the USA develop on the left side of the body, and the majority of skin cancers in the UK develop on the right side of the body. See a pattern? Scientists have attributed this baffling statistic to driving. Your daily commute to work exposes you to enough UV radiation to raise your chances of developing skin cancer. You may notice that you have more tanning on your left arm — or even the left side of your face. Sunlight penetrates through your driver-side window and damage accumulates bit by bit every time you drive. If you drive a relatively new car, your windshield probably has adequate UV protection. However, your car’s side and back windows don’t have this protection. Drive to your local car center or shop and have your car windows treated with UV filtering films. These films can be as clear or as dark as you want them to be, so you don’t need to worry about changing your car’s appearance.
Utah’s elevation makes its residents more vulnerable to skin cancers. You can’t just rely on sunscreen when you go outdoors; you need to take steps to make sure that you’re safe in your own home or when you’re driving in your car.