Every year in Australia skin cancer accounts for around 80% of all newly diagnosed cancers1. In Queensland melanoma incidence is estimated to be 29% higher than the national rate2, and is now the most common new cancer in young people 15-29 years old3. Queensland’s UV index is almost always in the “very high 8-10” range4, meaning people are constantly susceptible to UV radiation which is the leading cause of skin cancer in Australia. To top it all off, treatment of skin cancer costs the national health system over $400 million annually3.
Granted we have seen achievements in skin cancer prevention with Cancer Council’s Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide1 public service messages. But current research has shown that much of our shade is ineffective, poorly sited and not providing shade for the user of the facilities. Therefore we are aiming to combine both health and design disciplines to help create shaded spaces that not only help prevent skin cancer but are also where Queenslanders can live, work, play and learn in healthy, well designed spaces.
More reasons why shade is so important:
1. Cancer Council (2019). Skin Cancer. Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org.au/about-cancer/types-of-cancer/skin-cancer.html#jump_8
2. Queensland Health (2018). The Health of Queenslanders: Report of the Chief Health Officer Queensland. Retrieved from https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0032/732794/cho-report-2018-full.pdf
3. Queensland Health (2017). Skin Cancer Prevention Strategy 2017-2020. Retrieved from https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0020/663032/health-wellbeing-strategic-framework-skin-cancer.pdf
4. Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology (2019). About UV and Sun Protection Times. Retrieved from http://www.bom.gov.au/uv/index.shtml