Sunburns Part 2

Obviously the best way to protect yourself is sunscreen, use at least a SPF 15 with broad spectrum. This will cover both UVA and UVB. Also look for water and/or sweat resistant. Put it on 15 minutes before you head out and reapply as needed, even when it’s cloudy and foggy. Water and concrete can reflect UV rays, therefore increasing your exposure. Most of your PPE is already protecting you; such as long pants, long sleeves, dark colors and your lid. It’s a good idea to trade-in your clear safety glasses for tinted ones. Of course, if you’re  working on something that can be done indoors; do so. Always check the UV index. If possible, work around it. Try and get outdoor work done in the morning or after 3.

UV rays can cause serious damage in as little as 15 minutes. Think about that! For 8-12 hours a day we are outside or in work trucks. We need to protect ourselves. The above photo is from the New England Journal of Medicine, of a man who was a delivery truck driver for 28 years. These are the effects of UVA rays that transmitted through the truck window to the one side of his face. However, you don’t need to be in harm’s way for 28 years, even the mildest sun burns can cause redness, pain to the touch, leading to itchy, dryness and peeling. Nothing quite as flattering on your summer bod as snake skin hanging off of it! 🤮 And that’s just a light sunburn. More severe ones can cause third degree burns and blistering. As awful as these side effects are, they are nothing compared to the long term effects of UV exposure. Blindness, melanoma and skin cancer are scary to think about, however a very real possibility if you don’t take the proper precautions. According to the Government of Canada “In 2016, about 6,800 Canadians were diagnosed with melanoma and 1,200 will die from it.” That should be enough to get you to lather up on the sunscreen. Make sure you don’t end up being a statistic and take all measures to protect yourself from the sun.

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