May Is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Many people are unaware that the sun’s harmful rays can penetrate glass – both in cars and buildings.
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Scientific research shows that drivers are especially vulnerable on the left side of their bodies, where they are exposed to harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) rays from side windows in cars, which are typically unprotected. The average American spends more than 101 minutes a day in a car, and most of that time, they are inadvertently exposing themselves to damaging rays.
“Damage from certain kinds of ultraviolet rays is cumulative,” says Dr. Dee Anna Glaser, vice-chair of the dermatology department at St. Louis University. “These rays, called UVA rays, penetrate deep into the skin and can silently accelerate the aging process, cause wrinkles and even skin cancer.” Unlike UVB rays, which create immediate effects like blistering and burns, UVA rays create long-term damage that is not immediately noticeable. “That’s why many people don’t realize their skin is getting damaged from sitting near windows in cars or even at their desks at work,” says Dr. Glaser.