The content on this page is being archived for historic and reference purposes only. The content, links, and pdfs are no longer maintained and might be outdated.
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
Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services.
References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are
provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply
endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content
of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of
the date of publication.
All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from ASCII text
into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version.
Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the electronic PDF version and/or
the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables.
An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents,
U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800.
Contact GPO for current prices.
**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to