Information bite 222: Sun Awareness Week 2021

Sun Awareness Week (3-9 May) encourages people to regularly self-examine for signs of skin cancer and teaches them about the dangers of sunburn and excessive tanning.

The week is organised by No Time to Lose (NTTL) campaign supporter the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD), a charity that practices teaching, training and research of dermatology. This campaign is overseen by the BAD’s Skin Cancer Prevention Committee, comprised of leading medical professionals with expertise in skin cancer, vitamin D and public health messaging.

Worldwide, non-melanoma skin cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer, with an estimated 2-3 million cases registered every year. In Britain, there are at least 1,500 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer and 240 new cases of malignant melanoma linked to solar radiation exposure at work diagnosed each year.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a risk that particularly affects outdoor workers, who receive 5-10 times the yearly sun exposure of indoor workers. The engagement resources we offer as part of NTTL will help you communicate important messages on preventing occupational cancer caused by solar radiation exposure within your organisation.

As many of us are staying at home more during the Covid-19 lockdown, it’s important to look at what you eat and consider vitamin D rich foods such as mushrooms, oily fish, and fortified cereals and dairy products. To get your body to create vitamin D, you need to be out safely in the sun daily, and how long for will depend on a few factors, such as your skin colour. Taking vitamin D dietary supplement can be another source of intake.

We are supporting the NTTL Sun Awareness Week and encourage everyone to get involved and help raise awareness of solar radiation risks at work. Follow the link below to access free resources to enable you to educate your workforce.