Landscape pros, Hispanics encouraged to limit sun exposure

May 12, 2014 -  By

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. And with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light the most common cause of skin cancer, landscape professionals are encouraged to be mindful of their exposure working outdoors—Hispanics included.

Skin cancer affects more than two million people annually, and it is increasingly prevalent among the growing U.S. Hispanic population. An article published by the Skin Cancer Foundation in 2013 reports that, in the past two decades, there has been a 20 percent rise in the number of Hispanics with an incidence of melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer.

According to the Department of Labor, Latinos account for almost one in four workers in the construction industry. Moreover, there are more than 500,000 Hispanic workers in the U.S. landscape industry, according to the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

“Outdoor workers spend hours out in the blazing sun each day,” said Raul Berrios, president of the National Hispanic Landscape Alliance (NHLA) and owner of RulyScapes. “It is very important for those in the industry to not only be cautious with the heavy machinery they operate daily, but to also place importance on personal health.”

The time of day during which the sun is considered most threatening is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For those who work outdoors and cannot avoid sun exposure, the Centers for Disease Control offers simple steps to reduce the risk of developing skin cancer:

  1. Wear clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  2. Wear a hat with a wide brim to cover your face, head, ears and neck.
  3. Wear sunglasses.
  4. Use sunscreen with sun protective factor (SPF) 15 or higher, with UVA and UVB protection.
LM Staff

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