On ‘Don’t Fry Day’, EPA Reminds People to Protect Skin, Eyes When in the Sun

On ‘Don’t Fry Day’, EPA Reminds People to Protect Skin, Eyes When in the Sun

With more than two people dying from skin cancer per hour in the U.S., taking proper precautions when in the sun is essential for skin and eye health.

This year, Friday, May 26 marks the 15th Don’t Fry Day, a day that focuses on skin and eye care in the sun.

Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation—a type of radiation released by the sun—can lead to skin cancer, a disease that causes the death of more than two people per hour in the U.S., per the Skin Cancer Foundation. Although not all skin cancers are a result of UV radiation exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that most are.

In addition to affecting skin health, UV radiation can also lead to problems with vision and cataracts, per the National Eye Institute.

So what can be done to protect your skin and eyes when in the sun? In a news release, the EPA, which recognizes Don’t Fry Day, gives steps people can take to help lower the chances of these health effects. First, remember slip, slop, slap and wrap.

  • “SLIP! – Slip on a long-sleeved shirt or other clothing that covers your skin.
  • SLOP! – Slop on a handful of sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and re-apply every two hours, or sooner if in the water.
  • SLAP! – Slap on a broad-brimmed hat to cover the back of your neck and the tips of your ears.
  • WRAP! – Wrap on a pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses that wrap around the sides of your face provide more sun protection.”

While protection is paramount, the EPA also suggests not using tanning beds—they too release UV radiation— limiting time spent sunbathing and knowing the UV Index, which can be accessed on a mobile app from the EPA called EPA’s SunWise UV Index.

“This long weekend, and all summer long, remember to take care of your skin and eyes when you are enjoying the outdoors,” said Joseph Goffman, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation in the news release. “Wear sunscreen, protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses. Sun damage…builds up over your lifetime, so take care of your skin every day you’re outdoors.”

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Environmental Protection.