Eighty percent of all skin cancers are on the face and neck. In addition, doctors tell us that UV light (of both kinds) may help to accelerate cataract formation and other age-related degeneration, as well as the risk of cancer on the eyelids.
A word about your kids. . .children and adults wearing tee- shirts for protection against the sun should consider this. A dry cotton tee-shirt provides roughly the same protection as SPF 15 sunscreen. But, as soon as it gets wet, through water or perspiration, it loses more than half its sun protection.
Polyester tees tend to give more protection, wet or dry, than do the cotton ones.
There are special sun-blocking clothes available that raise the SPF to 30. (I've ordered a cloth neckshade made that is made from Solarweave-tm. They claim independent lab tests show their fabric blocks 95% or more of UVB rays and 92% of UVA rays after two years of use.) And I live in Seattle!
Here are some great rules to follow. The New York Post ran these last year. They are from The Sun Smart Institute, Box 20471 in Alexandria VA 22320.
In addition, several doctors strongly advise to limit your outdoor exposure to between the hours of 10 and 4. Remember, only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun. Good luck and cool, safe gardening.
David Soper, The Garden Guy, writes and lectures on gardening topics. Read more on his website, Adventures in Gardening, www.gardenguy.com
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