Eshoo Leads Effort to Protect Americans from UV Rays

June 7, 2005
Press Release

June 7, 2005

WASHINGTON, DC -- Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) today addressed the rising rates of Americans who are not properly prepared for another summer in the sun. H. Res. 169, a resolution to promote sun safety and establish an official Sun Safety Week (June 5 - 11), unanimously passed the House of Representatives today.

"Skin cancer is highly preventable and I urge all Americans to practice good sun safety," stated Rep. Eshoo. "Using proper skin protection and avoiding excess sun exposure are easy and effective ways to reduce the risk of cancer. Protection from harmful UV rays should not be blithely ignored."

A recent national survey, conducted by the non-profit Sun Safety Alliance (http://www.sunsafetyalliance.org/), shows a 12-point decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who report using sunscreen when outdoors, from 72 percent to 60 percent. And while the number of people who have practiced sun safety has decreased, the number of skin cancer diagnoses has increased; it's estimated that there will be 1.3 million skin cancer cases in the U.S. this year, which exceeds the number of breast, lung, prostate and colon cancers combined.

Most importantly, Rep. Eshoo stressed the importance of sun safety for children and young adults. "School-based sun safety education programs are a great first step toward making sure our children are prepared. Fifty percent of lifetime exposure to UV light occurs during childhood and adolescence, and it can take less than 10 minutes for a child's skin to burn. Practicing sun-safe behaviors during childhood is best way to reduce the chance of skin cancer later in life."

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