UV rays can penetrate windows in commercial buildings, homes and automobiles, which exposes occupants to radiation. This exposure is cumulative, so the total damage an occupant receives is directly related to how often they’re exposed to UV rays.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UV radiation wavelengths are classified as UVA, UVB, or UVC. Most UVC is absorbed by the ozone layer and doesn’t reach the earth; both UVA and UVB, however, penetrate the atmosphere and play an important role in skin conditions.
“UVA rays penetrate deep into the skin and can silently accelerate the aging process, cause wrinkles, and even cause skin cancer,” says Dr. Dee Anna Glaser, vice-chair of the dermatology department at St. Louis University. Unlike UVB rays, which produce immediate effects like blistering and burns, UVA rays do long-term damage that isn’t always noticeable. “Many people don’t realize that their skin is getting damaged from sitting near windows at their desks at work,” says Dr. Glaser.
UV rays can also fade furniture, wallcoverings, artwork, fabric, flooring, and merchandise in window displays.
To help raise awareness about UV rays – and how they can be safely controlled – Eastman Chemical Company, manufacturer of Vista Window Film, is partnering with the Skin Cancer Foundation as part of Skin Cancer Awareness Month to provide consumer education.
As part of this initiative, Eastman is supporting The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Road to Healthy Skin Tour, presented by Rite Aid. The Tour educates the public about skin cancer prevention through sun protection, along with the need for prompt, effective treatment.
Local dermatologists conduct full-body skin exams on a first-come, first-served basis in the Tour’s 38-foot RV, which contains two exam rooms. This year’s Tour began last week in Hoboken, NJ, and ends on August 30 in Redwood City, CA. The Tour will make 50 stops along the way at Rite Aid stores.
Window film is one of the easiest ways to mitigate UV ray damage. It can block up to 99.9% of harmful UV rays while offering unobstructed views, allowing natural daylight inside to decrease electric lighting requirements. Window films also reduce solar heat gain, which may lower cooling costs. Newer low-e window films offer year-round HVAC savings by helping keep radiant heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer. To learn more, read about controlling UV rays with window film and skin cancer window tint for your automobile.
Do you plan to visit the Road to Healthy Skin Tour this summer? Find out if it’s stopping near you!