Avery Dennison Urges Drivers to Consider Automotive Window Film During Skin Cancer Awareness MonthMay 4th, 2022 by Chris Collier
Skin Cancer Awareness Month is an annual May initiative of the nonprofit Skin Cancer Foundation, which has helped people understand the importance of skin cancer prevention, early detection and effective treatment for more than 40 years. As a member of the foundation’s Corporate Council, Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions encourages people to be proactive about daily sun protection, including by using non-reflective automotive window film.
Skin cancer is America’s most common cancer with more than five million cases diagnosed in the United States each year, according to the foundation. In addition, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. Fortunately, skin cancer is also one of the most preventable forms.
Ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) from the sun causes skin cancer. UV rays also damage your eyes and cause your skin to lose elasticity, sag, stretch, bruise easier and age prematurely. Most of us are aware of these important ways to protect ourselves from the sun:
• Avoid prolonged exposure, especially between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Cover up with sun-protective clothing, including a broad-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, when outside.
• Don’t get sunburned.
• Avoid tanning and never use UV tanning beds.
• Liberally apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher every day.
• Keep infants out of the sun for the first six months rather than using sunscreen on their sensitive skin. Clothing should cover babies’ vulnerable arms and legs, and don’t forget to use hats, sunglasses and stroller shades.
• Examine your skin head-to-toe every month.
• See a dermatologist at least once a year for a professional skin exam.
Source: Skin Cancer Foundation
One less well-known way that people can protect themselves, according to the foundation and other organizations, is by having UV-protective window film applied to the windows in their car, truck or commercial vehicle.
“On average people spend at least an hour every day inside their cars with only the car windows between their skin and the sun’s damaging rays,” says Debra Levy, president of the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC). “Car windshields are treated at the factory to shield drivers from most UVA rays, and some sunroofs may provide protection, but the side and back windows often aren’t treated.”
“Whenever you are in a car or any kind of vehicle in the daytime, you are being bombarded on your left side if you are the driver and on your right side if you’re the passenger. Window film can provide much-needed protection,” Levy adds.
Drivers who spend a lot of time on the road should be particularly concerned about sun exposure. A 2010 study at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine found that Americans who spent more time driving were more likely to develop skin cancer on their left side. Malignant melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer, was even more divided, with 74% of cases on the left side and only 26% on the right.
“Automotive window films come in a variety of shades and light transmission levels, all of which block UV radiation and glare,” says Randy Garcia, Avery Dennison Window Film regional technical specialist. “The newest window films are available in virtually clear tints and yet still block more than 99% of UV light and an impressive percentage of glare. Your window film dealer can advise you on how dark you’re allowed to tint car windows in your state. They will help you select a film that meets the legal standard while providing the appearance you are looking for.”