July is UV Safety Month: Consumers Should Take Action For Year-Round ProtectionJune 28th, 2023 by Chris Collier
The nonprofit International Window Film Association (IWFA) is using the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s UV Safety Month to warn consumers that some of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation can pass directly through unprotected glass in buildings and vehicles and damage skin and eyes.
The sun emits radiation in the form of ultraviolet or UV energy, which is classified into three types: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C. The earth’s ozone layer blocks the most damaging UV-C light, but UV-B (which causes sunburns) and UV-A (which can penetrate deep into the skin and eyes) rays reach the earth’s surface.
“Just because you are sitting behind a glass window, even if it has darkly colored glass, you are not fully protected from UV-A radiation, unless the glass has been treated with UV blockers, which window films contain and they can stop 99% of the sun’s UV-A rays,” says Darrell Smith, executive director of the IWFA.
Over time, the exposure to UV-A accumulates and may lead to skin cancers, including melanoma, basal cell, and squamous cell cancers. Frequent unprotected sunlight exposure may cause leathery skin, liver spots, wrinkles, cataracts, cornea damage and even vision loss.
While darker skin pigmentation may lower the risk of developing skin cancer, research shows that people of color die from melanoma at a higher rate than white people. Legendary reggae star Bob Marley died at age 36 from a malignant melanoma that started under a toe nail.
Window films may be installed on a vehicle’s rear and side windows, as allowed by local regulation, and also on a building’s windows for year-round UV protection. There are other benefits too, such as energy savings, fade reduction, safety and glare reduction.