UV Protection from Glass   Leave a comment

Today in the newspaper there was an article about skin cancer from sun exposure while driving. A recent study soon to be published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found a statistically significant percentage of skin cancers (especially malignant melanoma in situ) are on the left (driver) side of the body. Apparently windshields are typically made from laminated glass that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, but ordinary glass used in the side and rear windows only blocks UVB rays. Regular glass and low emissivity coatings used in homes to reduce heat loss or gain through the windows also don’t block UVA rays. Apparently UVA exposure contributes to risk of melanoma and UVB exposure contributes to risk of basal and squamous cell carcinoma.

I did know that UV rays could get through glass since they cause fading of anything placed in front of the window. But I had thought that low-e coatings reduced UV radiation through the window. As far as car windows, I have long had questions but had never followed up on them regarding the amount of UV radiation through a car window. I guess now I’ll be putting the sun screen on before I start a trip. I will also never again tease my husband for covering up his arms to protect his tattoos when he is in the sunny side of the car. As for daily driving, probably no changes, since I want to get my vitamin D and most of my daily driving is outside of the 10-4 window for dangerous sun exposure.

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Posted May 31, 2010 by mayakey in health

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