As important shade is, there needs to be a combination of environmental and personal protection to really minimise sun cancer risk in Australia.
Hats and clothing are the first and most effective form of defense against harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, as they provide a physical barrier that doesn’t wash away.
- That covers as much skin as possible, for example, shirts with long sleeves and high necks/collars.
- Is made from close weave materials such as cotton, polyester/cotton and linen.
- Is dark in colour to absorb UV radiation (white and lighter colours reflect UV radiation onto skin).
- If used for swimming, is made from materials such as lycra, which stays sun protective when wet.
And hats that have a wide brim and are made of close weave material that you can’t see through. We should also wear sunglasses that meet Australian Standards and have an Eye Protection Factor (EPF) of 9 or above to protect our eyes from UV damage. We should always be wearing a hat and sunglasses even on cloudy or cold days because high levels of UV is prevalent all year round in Queensland.
1. Cancer Council Queensland. (2019). Sun Protection. Retrieved from https://cancerqld.org.au/cancer-prevention/sun-protection/