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The Burning Issue


Schools and districts have taken strong measures to protect students and staff from exposure to certain known carcinogens like asbestos, radon and tobacco smoke. However, exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, another human carcinogen, has been widely overlooked despite its presence on every school campus.

The urgent need for action is supported by alarming statistics. The incidence of skin cancer in the U.S. has increased dramatically since the 1970s. The rate is rising faster than any other type of cancer. This year there will be more new cases of skin cancer than all other types of cancer combined. Every hour, one American will die from skin cancer.

Skin cancer is highly preventable. Schools can implement policies that help educate and protect students and staff as they have done with other health risks. Policy and education are essential because, while schools cannot rid themselves of UV rays, they can learn to reduce their harm. Sun Safe Schools can help your school develop effective sun safety procedures and implementation plans.

In this section of the website, you can learn about:

Skin Cancer & UV
Did you know skin cancer is increasing at an alarming rate? Find out what causes skin cancer and how to prevent it. more>>>

California Legislation
Have you heard about Billy’s Bill for Sun Safety? Read about important legislation affecting your school district. more>>>

Role of the District
Wondering why school districts should care about sun safety? Learn why districts are in the unique position to help prevent skin cancer. more>>>

National Guidelines
Don’t know where to start? Check out the guidelines that sun safety experts have created for you. more>>>

Still not sure? Find answers to questions you may have about addressing sun safety at your school. more>>>

Common Misconceptions
Find many common misconceptions about sun safety. more>>>

This Year's Fast Facts:

Fast Facts

In California:

  • Melanoma, which is responsible for 75% of skin cancer deaths, is the 5th most common cancer among Caucasians in California.
  • San Luis Obispo County has the highest rate of new melanoma diagnoses in the state, 106% above the national average.
  • About 2 Californians die each day from melanoma.

(Centers for Disease Control; Environmental Protection Agency)

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