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In retail, sometimes we have to soak up the sun! Learn the health and safety risks caused by radiation from the sun, and how to treat and avoid skin cancer and sunburns.
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**Sun Safety: Risks in the Retail Industry **
While being a good source of vitamin D, sunlight may also pose health risks to an individual.
99% of skin cancers are caused by Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) that one can get from too much exposure to the sun.
The damage caused by UVR occurs as soon as the skin is exposed to the sun.
Damage from UVR is irreversible and increases with each exposure.
In the retail industry, outdoor stall employees and delivery personnel have a higher than average risk of developing common skin cancers.
Ultraviolet Radiation In the retail industry, employees who work outdoors are more exposed to the sun. This means they're more prone to these 2 common health risks caused by UVR. Sunburns and Skin Cancer What's unique about UVR is that its characteristics are different from other health risks in outdoor workplaces. Ultraviolet Radiation cannot be felt. It bounces off reflective surfaces such as metal, concrete, and water, passes through loosely woven clothes and can be high even on cool and cloudy days. Ultraviolet Radiation can damage our skin without us knowing.
First Aid for Sunburns
Sunburn is an often painful sign of skin damage from spending too much time outdoors without wearing protection from the sun.
Years of overexposure to the sun can lead to premature wrinkling and aging of the skin, and an increased risk of skin cancer.
How sunburn works Aside from skin damage, sunburn is also your body’s response to UVR damage as it tries to repair it. You can think of it as a short-term warning for potential long-term skin damage this is because sunburns are a clear sign that the DNA in your skin cells has been damaged by too much UV radiation. According to studies,** getting sunburnt just once every 2 years can triple your risk** of melanoma skin cancer! Sunburns don’t always have to be raw, peeling, or blistering. If your skin has gone pink or red in the sun, it’s sunburnt. For people with darker skin, it may just feel irritated, tender or itchy. If you notice your skin turning pink or red, you should come out of the sun and cover up to prevent any more damage from happening.
All of these are traits of sunburn except one. What is it?
**If blistering occurs... **
...lightly bandage or cover the area with gauze to prevent infection. The blisters should not be broken, as this will slow down the healing process and increase the risk of infection. When the blisters break and the skin peels, dried fragments may be removed and an antiseptic ointment or hydrocortisone cream may be applied.
Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention
When it comes to skin cancer, a major risk factor is prolonged exposure to Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR).
Too much UV radiation from the sun can damage the genetic material (the DNA) in your skin cells.
If enough DNA damage builds up over time, it can cause cells to grow out of control, which leads to skin cancer.
How UV Radiation damages our skin UV radiation is part of the natural energy produced by the sun. On the electromagnetic spectrum, UV light has shorter wavelengths than visible light, so your eyes can’t see it. But your skin, it can definitely feel it! There are two types of UV light are proven to contribute to the risk of skin cancer: Ultraviolet A (UVA) has a longer wavelength is associated with** skin aging**, and Ultraviolet B (UVB) which has a shorter wavelength and is associated with skin burning. While UVA and UVB rays differ in how they affect the skin, they both do harm. Unprotected exposure to UVA and UVB damages the DNA may lead to genetic defects, mutations, and ultimately, skin cancer.
Which physical traits may cause one to be more prone to UVR damage? Select all that applies
Skin cancers often take the form of pale, wax-like, pearly nodules Red, scaly, sharply outlined patches that look like sores that don't heal
and moles that are commonly asymmetrical in shape and/or pigment distribution, with an irregular border, color variation, and often greater than 6 mm diameter.
Using PPE to Stay Safe from the Sun
Avoiding overexposure to Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) is the best way to prevent skin cancer.
Minimise time in the sun between 10 am and 3 pm Slip on some protective clothing Slop on some SPF 30+ sunscreen Slap on a hat and seeking shade And sliding on sunglasses! **You can follow these simple steps to avoid too much UVR exposure: **
What clothing feature is best to use against UVR exposure? Select all that applies
Choosing Your Sunscreen
Has sun protection factor (SPF) of 30+ Has broad-spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB) Must be water-resistant Valid and can be used within its "use-by" date Sunscreen is recommended as the last line of defense in addition to shade, clothing, hats, and sunglasses. When choosing a sunscreen try looking for the following:
Keep it in accessible places such as tearooms first aid kits in the workplace. Always check its expiry date and store in a cool place preferably below 30 degrees Celsius. Price is not always an indication of quality! Any broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF30+ rating, will if applied correctly, provides good sun protection. Additional tips: