The Bare Facts
Protecting Yourself
Skin Cancer
Vitamin D
Ways we can help spread awareness and prevention
Block the Sun, Not the Fun Program
Information for Health Care Professionals
Parents and Kids
Ways we can help through the Media
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Companies that Care Program

Official Newsletter for Sun Safety Alliance

In This Issue, Fall 2006

Join Mothers and Others Against Skin Cancer

There's still time to join Mothers and Others Against Skin Cancer (MASC) and register for an all expense paid 4 day visit to Disney theme park of choice (airfare for family of 4, hotel, and park admission) - total value up to $3,000. Please share this information with your colleagues, teachers and caregivers, and parents and encourage them to join MASC. To join, visit and click on this image

There is no cost and no obligation to join. Individual members benefit by receiving:

Ģ The quarterly newsletter of the Sun Safety Alliance
Ģ Sun safety facts and information
Ģ Consumer coupons related to sun safety products such as sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats
Ģ As a member, we can also provide you with information about sun safety developments in your state if you would like to become an advocate for the cause.


Fall Sun Safety Tips

With fall comes the beginning of the school year and the return of organized activities such as sports and intramurals. Afternoon football practice, track, and conditioning runs are just a few of the outdoor activities taking place.

The very nature of these activities eliminates the possibility of seeking shade or wearing sun-protective clothing. Therefore, the application of an effective sunscreen is their primary protection against harmful UV rays.

Parents can provide their children with sunscreen and encourage them to apply it each day. Many of the activities last two or more hours so choose a sunscreen product with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of at least 15. Products that are waterproof and/or sweat proof may be best for some activities. Some sunscreen products may irritate the eyes when the child perspires, so you may have to try several to find the one that is best for your child.

Work with your local school system and athletic association to encourage use of sunscreen for all outdoor activities for students. Remember that sun safety is important every day, all year long.


Academy of Dermatology awards the Sun Safety Alliance two prestigious Gold Triangle Awards

The Sun Safety Alliance has been awarded two prestigious Gold Triangle Awards from the American Academy of Dermatology for the SSA's efforts to promote awareness of sun safety to prevent skin cancer.

The Academy created the Gold Triangle Awards 10 years ago to recognize and honor media, industry, health community organizations, public service and individual efforts that further understanding of dermatologic issues and encourage healthy behaviors in the care of the skin, hair, and nails.

Held July 27, 2006 at the San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina in downtown San Diego , the awards were presented by Robert Wagner and Jill St. John.During the ceremony, SSA President Phil Schneider gave the award presenters the SSA's symbol a lapel pin in the shape of an hour glass. The symbol represents the fact that one person dies every hour from skin cancer.

SSA received one award for Sun Safety Week . In an effort to raise public awareness of the importance of practicing sun safety when enjoying outdoor activities, as well as educating the public on the importance of skin cancer prevention, the SSA established Sun Safety Week as an annual observance. Held the first week in June, the SSA issued a news release, as well as a video news release that featured U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona. Also during the first Sun Safety Week, the SSA launched the Mothers and Others Against Skin Cancer initiative with former First Lady Barbara Bush serving as Honorary Chair. Sun Safety Week is now included on the National Health Information Center's Calendar of National Health Observances.

The second Gold Triangle Award recognized the Sun Safety Week Congressional Resolution. As part of the launch of Sun Safety Week, the SSA worked with members of Congress to seek a Congressional resolution officially recognizing the initiative, as well as expressing support to enhanced education about sun safe practices for all Americans. The legislative process involved extensive educational efforts with Congressional staff members in development of the final resolution, which were adopted in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. The resolutions both point out that ultraviolet radiation is considered a carcinogen, recognizes the need for school-based sun safety education programs, and encourages all Americans to protect themselves from excessive sun exposure. Sponsors for the resolution included Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Senator John Sununu (R-NH), Representative Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), and Representative Anna Eshoo (D-CA).


Award-winning sun safety educational videos

A much needed tool, sponsored by the Sun Safety Alliance, provides great entertainment while teaching children to Block the sun, not the fun.

Co-produced by the California Department of Health Services and by dermatologists of the nonprofit Sun Safety for Kids, The Sun Show simulates two episodes of a live television morning show. Young viewers will identify with the show's hosts and field reporters, who are themselves children. In a variety of attention-grabbing short segments, the news team uncovers the darker side of sunlight and reveals simple strategies for protecting our skin from those dangerous UV rays.

Available in two versions, for children ages 6-8 and 9-11, each video is punctuated by clever surprises, some hilarious animation, an original score, and hit song clips. With the included teacher's guide, the videos are ideal for schools, camps, or clubs where the children will find these important sun safety lessons most enjoyable to learn.

For additional detail, to view trailers, and to order online, log on to


Tanning Bed Legislation Enacted

Three health organizations, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Society, and the American Academy of Dermatology, feel so strongly about the connection between tanning beds and cancer risk that they are encouraging states to follow 19 others in restricting minors' access to tanning salons.

According to the American Cancer Society, people age 35 or younger who used tanning beds regularly appear to have a skin cancer risk eight times higher than people who never used them. Even occasional use in that age group almost triples the odds of developing melanoma, the most lethal form of skin cancer, which claims 8,000 lives annually in the United States. Melanoma also is the most common cancer in young women ages 25 to 29.

Most salons use bulbs in their tanning beds that emit a significant amount of ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A radiation both of which are associated with the development of skin cancer and premature aging. In fact, the United States Department of Health and Human Services lists ultraviolet radiation from the sun or artificial light sources such as tanning beds and sun lamps as a known carcinogen.

While adults can be expected to determine their risk exposure from a tanning booth's radiation, many minors may not realize the long-term effects and health risk. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) position statement on indoor tanning encourages states to aggressively pursue legislation that protect children. Specifically, the AADA supports the following requirements for indoor tanning facilities:

  • No minor should be permitted to use tanning devices.
  • A Surgeon General's warning should be placed on all tanning devices.
  • No person or facility should advertise the use of any ultraviolet A or ultraviolet B tanning device using wording such as safe, safe tanning, no harmful rays, no adverse effect, or similar wording or concepts.

Since 2003, 19 states have passed laws restricting access to tanning salons for those under 18. These laws vary among states, and may even differ from county to county. New York, New Jersey, and California are among states with the toughest laws in the nation, banning all children under age 14. In Massachusetts, Texas, Tennessee, Illinois, Florida and Louisiana, for example, children under 14 are allowed to visit tanning salons accompanied by a parent. In Michigan, the statute only suggests parental consent.

Other restrictions include written parental authorization and required use of goggles while tanning,


FDA Approves a New Over-the-Counter Sunscreen Product

On July 24, 2006, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Anthelios SX, a sunscreen from L'Oreal. This is the first new sunscreen approved since 1988.

Most sunscreens sold in the United States mainly block UVB rays and long-wave UVA rays. This helps prevent sunburn and other types of skin damage. But Anthelios offers better protection from deeper penetrating UVA rays, and it lasts longer in the sun. This may help reduce the risk of various types of skin cancer including melanoma and basal and squamous cell carcinomas. Better UVA protection also may reduce sun-related skin wrinkling.

This new product will be sold over-the-counter (OTC) for the prevention of sunburn and for protection against ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. It will be sold as a daily moisturizer cream and should be on pharmacy shelves sometime this fall. It will be sold under the name Anthelios SX and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15.

Anthelios SX contains a combination of three active ingredients. Two of the active ingredients, avobenzone and octocrylene, are generally recognized in the U.S. as safe and effective. The new compound, known as ecamsule, has been available in Europe and Canada since 1993 and is an effective UVA sunblocking agent.

Remember --- there's more to skin protection than sunscreen. In addition to using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15, it's important to limit your time in the sun especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's harmful rays are strongest. When you're outdoors, wear a broad-rimmed hat and tightly woven clothing that covers your arms and legs. Avoid tanning beds and tan-accelerating products.


Facts About Skin Cancer and UV Radiation

Skin cancer strikes more people worldwide than any other form of cancer. Anyone can develop skin cancer. In the US alone, one million adults will be diagnosed with the disease each year. The main cause of skin cancer is ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight, especially when too much time is spent in the sun. So what is ultraviolet radiation?

UV radiation is part of the spectrum of radiation emitted by the sun. UV rays are the sun's invisible burning rays. There are three types of UV rays: UVA, UVB, and UVC. UVC rays are blocked by the ozone layer and do not reach the earth's surface, and do not pose a safety concern . But UVA and UVB rays can cause sunburns, and in some cases skin cancer. UV rays also cause skin damage including wrinkling, pigmentation, and loss of elasticity, and can lead to eye damage and cataracts.

While a small amount of exposure to sunlight is healthy and pleasurable, too much can be dangerous. One way to reduce the risks of harmful effects is to avoid exposure to high levels of UV rays.

Know the daily UV index for your area. The UV Index (short for "Ultraviolet Ray Index") is a next-day forecast of the amount of skin-damaging UV radiation that's expected to reach Earth's surface when the sun is highest in the sky (solar noon). It was created to help people make informed decisions about the amount of time that they spend in the sun. You can find out the UV index for your area by visiting these or other websites:


Sun Safety in Early Child Care and Education (ECCE) Programs

Fresh air, sunshine, and exercise are essential to the healthy development of young children. Children who regularly spend time running, jumping, and playing outdoors are generally more fit and have a lower risk of becoming overweight. We should encourage children to be outside, moving, and safe!

Enjoy the sunshine, but remember, too much sun exposure is not good for people, especially young children. In addition to making children hot and uncomfortable, too much unprotected exposure to the sun's UV radiation can lead to sunburn, eye damage, wrinkles, and skin cancer, including life-threatening melanoma. Research indicates that one serious childhood sunburn could trigger skin cancer in later years.

The purpose of the Sun Safe Childcare Project , an initiative of the Sun Safety Alliance, is to increase public awareness of sun safety and to motivate parents, child caregivers, and young children to be sun safe. In the United States, approximately 61% of children ages birth to six years -- over 12 million children -- are enrolled in some type of early child care and education (ECCE) program during their formative preschool years, so the ECCE setting provides an opportunity to reach children and their teachers, caregivers, and parents.

The goal of the Sun Safe Childcare project is to help teachers and caregivers, parents, and young children to be sun safe. This involves two major objectives: (1) to increase awareness of sun safety and (2) to provide those entrusted with the safety of children the resources and tools necessary to implement a comprehensive sun safety program. Teaching sun safety at an early age instills life long habits that could prevent skin cancer.

One of the first steps in this project is creation of a webpage devoted to sun safety for this target audience. Under construction, this webpage will include links to sun safety resources appropriate for young children and ECCE programs. Over the next two years we will create an electronic "tool kit" of resource materials that can be downloaded and modified for use by childcare programs. ( Click here to visit this webpage.)

We need your help with this important project.

There are several ways that individuals, agencies, and organizations can work with the Sun Safety Alliance to assure the success of this important project.

  • Share resource information: We have identified and posted several resources including activities for toddlers and preschoolers and a safety booklet for parents and children. Please let us know of other resources that are appropriate for staff, parents, or young children (ages birth through six years). Resources such as other newsletters, curriculums, activity sheets, websites, etc. are all valuable. Contact Dr. Charlotte Hendricks, Project Director at to share information with us.
  • Share links to webpages: We want to share webpage links with non-profit organizations, professional organizations, businesses and corporations, foundations, and other groups with an interest in keeping children sun safe.
  • Become a Partner with the Sun Safety Alliance: A partnership means that you or your organization or program agrees that this is an important project and that you are willing to work with us, such as providing feedback on whether you like the materials, or giving us ideas of what would be helpful in your programs. In return, you will receive information and materials from this important project as they become available. Other benefits include reciprocal links from the Alliance website to our partners, enhanced awareness of partnering corporations and their products and services, and recognition as a partner in a national initiative.

Please contact Dr. Charlotte Hendricks, Project Director, at to share your ideas, recommendations, or web links.

Sun Safe Childcare SurveyĶ.. This month, the Sun Safety Alliance, in collaboration with Western Kentucky University, will survey staff, teachers/caregivers, parents, and consultants to determine the status of sun-safe actions currently practiced in early child care and education (ECCE) settings This will help us learn more about the specific sun safety needs of early child care and education programs. Information about the survey and questionnaire will be disseminated through our partners, ECCE list serves, our website links, etc.

Click here to participate in this brief survey.

We would greatly appreciate it if you can share this information through your local networks. For more information, please contact Dr. Charlotte Hendricks, Project Director, at

SSA seeks funding to continue the Sun Safe Childcare Project: Please let us know if your corporation or agency would like to partner with the SSA on this national initiative! Please contact Phil Schneider, Executive Director, or Dr. Charlotte Hendricks, Project Director,

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