Sun protection is a passionate subject for many people who have been impacted by cancer. Ellery, a high school freshman and Girl Scout, has been involved in fundraisers for treatments and cures of cancers. Now, Ellery has made it her mission to help educate young students and school officials about sun protection and show them that it’s possible to effectively, and inexpensively, protect students from the sun’s harmful UV rays during outdoor recess and activities.
In the upper atmosphere, about 6 to 30 miles above Earth, the stratospheric ozone protects life from the sun’s ultraviolet B radiation (UVB). Over decades, it has been damaged by cumulative pollutants. Now, every year, for over 20 years, a significantly depleted layer of ozone known as the ozone hole forms over the Antarctic. This ozone loss imposes a serious health threat for humans, in particular our skin and eyes.
On Tuesday, October 24, 2011, “The Doctors” TV show aired a segment nationwide about a new skin cancer treatment for basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. This treatment option uses low doses of radiation on a targeted area to kill the cancer cells, going no deeper than the skin. Only a few dermatologists are offering this non-surgical treatment for basal cell carcinoma opposed to micrographic surgery, the current standard for treatment, which can take hours to perform.
Seirra Leone, located in West Africa, is one of the poorest nations in the world. While mineral, agricultural and fishery resources are abundant, its physical and social infrastructure have not fully recovered from the civil war that ended in 2002, and social disorder has hindered economic development. Coolibar’s friends at OneVillage Partners, a Minneapolis, MN based non-profit, have been working with people in Eastern Seirra Leone since 2006 to provide assistance to rural villages and stimulate growth within these deprived communities.
On Sunday, October 9, 2011, Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill making California the first state to prohibit minors from using tanning beds. This raises the question, should teens be able to decide whether or not to use tanning beds? According to Aim at Melanoma Foundation, using a tanning bed before the age of 20 doubles a person’s risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Even more staggering is that 28 million individuals in the U.S. use tanning beds each year despite the statistics, which includes 2.3 million teens.
Looking up the UV Index is as important as looking up the weather online or watching the morning forecast every day. Just like the weather forecast, the UV Index forecast tells you what to wear. In addition, it indicates how you should prepare for the sun’s intensity so you can feel comfortable and keep your skin protected while outside.