Nearly everyone who has owned or ridden in a type of convertible has a story about how severely sunburned they’ve gotten from a road trip. And while having miles and miles of headroom has its merits, it also has its dangers. So it’s no wonder that a study by the University of Washington in Seattle has shown that driving can contribute to the deadliest form of skin cancer: melanoma.
Driving with the top down or the windows open and having the sun cast its rays on your skin has no different effect than tanning on the beach and since a good a mount of Americans take the freedom of mobility for granted, many overlook this fact and don’t think to wear sun block while just carrying out the daily duty of driving.
For example, the study shows that skin cancer on patients have increased and 52% of melanoma cases are on the left side of the body. The explanation? Well, how many of you drivers cruise around with the windows open and hang your left arm on the door while you do so? I do and as a result, have to prepare myself for the influx of jokes that I’d receive from my friends by having the left side of my body darker than my right.
So those with sensitive skin—like myself—have to make sure to either prepare properly with sun block or drive with the windows closed. Along with the correlations, co-author of the study Paul Ngheim added that car windows do a rather good job at blocking most UVB rays that cause sunburn.
“The reality is that any of the glass in the car will get out most of the bad UV,” said Ngheim, “but it should be noted that UVA rays, though far less intense, can penetrate glass and damage the skin over the long term.
– By: Chris Chin