Respect the power of the Sun
In current hot weather it is very important to take lots of drinks, stay indoors during periods of high temperatures and avoid exposure to the damaging effects of UV radiation from the sun. Farmers are one of the highest risk groups for skin cancer. Find some advice here.
Farmers are one of the highest risk groups for skin cancer as UV (ultraviolet) radiation is damaging all year around, even on cool cloudy days. Farmers are more at risk as they spend a large amount of time outdoors. Overexposure to UV can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage and skin cancer.
Recent CSO figures (2018) suggest that almost one in four (26.6%) of skin cancer deaths in Ireland are from the construction, outdoor and farming industry. One death every week in Ireland is related to sun exposure at work.
HSE Sunsmart campaign
The HSE SunSmart campaign provides information and advice on how to protect yourself and others from the dangers of exposure to the suns UV rays.
If you work outdoors you are exposed to 2-3 times higher amount of UV than someone who works indoors so have a higher risk of developing skin cancer. Exposure to UV damage is irreversible, permanent and cumulative with each exposure. Review your UV exposure – how long are you outside for and how many days of the week?
When the UV is above 3 you need to protect your skin even if it is cloudy. UV from the sun is strongest between 11am and 3pm – plan for this in your daily schedule of work if possible and try to take lunch breaks or work in the shade at this time. UV is highest between April and September. You can check the UV index on the Met Eireann website (see www.met.ie/uv-index).
Use protective clothing that covers your exposed skin such as long sleeved, collared shirts, broad brimmed hats and sun glasses. To help protect your skin use broad spectrum water-resistant SPF of at least 30+ and apply every two hours. Never rely on sunscreen alone so use a combination of protective clothing and sunscreen. Take extra care if you have pale or freckled skin, have natural fair or red hair, have blue, green or grey eyes, have a large number of moles, burn easily, have already had skin cancer or have a close family member that has had skin cancer.
Check Skin/ Contact GP
Use protective clothing that covers your exposed skin such as long sleeved, collared shirts, broad brimmed hats and sun glasses. Check your skin regularly for changes and contact your GP if you notice changes such as a lump or discoloured patch on the skin. Look out for new growth or a sore that does not heal in a few weeks, a spot or sore that itches, hurts, crusts, scabs or bleeds, constant skin ulcers with no other explanation for their cause and new or changing moles.
Key Actions to take:
- Use protective clothing that covers your exposed skin such as long sleeved, collared shirts, broad brimmed hats and sun glasses.
- Apply broad spectrum, water resistant SPF of at least 30 or higher and reapply throughout the day.
- Keep an eye on UV levels- you can check UV levels on the Met Eireann website.
- Use shade where possible and take breaks in the shade.
- Check your skin regularly for changes.
To learn more click here https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/list/5/cancer/prevention/skin-cancer-prevention-sunsmart.html