Public Health Action Steps from the International Agency for Research
- Protection of the skin from solar damage ideally involves various actions that include wearing tightly woven
protective clothing that adequately covers the arms, trunk, and legs and a hat that provides adequate shade to the whole of the
head; seeking shade whenever possible; avoiding outdoor activities during periods of peak insolation; and using
sunscreens. Sunscreens should not be used as the sole agent for protection against the sun.
- Sunscreens should not be used as a means of extending the duration of solar exposure (e.g., prolonging sunbathing)
and it should not be used as a substitute for clothing on sites that are usually unexposed (e.g., the trunk and buttocks).
- Daily use of sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (>15) on exposed skin is recommended for residents of areas
of high insolation who work outdoors or enjoy regular outdoor recreation. Daily use of a sunscreen can reduce the
cumulative solar exposure that causes actinic keratoses and squamous cell carcinoma.
- Adequate solar protection is more important during childhood than any other time in life, and parents and
school managers should assiduously apply the first two recommendations.
Source: The International Agency for Research on Cancer Working Group on the Evaluation of Cancer-Preventive
Agents. Sunscreens. In: IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention. Vol 5. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on
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