Are you risking yourself from UV radiation while driving? (Infographic)

Do you think you’re protected from the heat of the sun, as well as the dangers to your health it can cause you, when you’re safe and sound inside the comfort of your car? Well, that’s not actually the case. Experts are now warning people who frequently drive long distances of the potential dangers of their long exposure under the sun and the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation even if they are inside their cars.

People should start forgetting about the misconception that they need to be at least four hours at the beach to be in the risk group for skin cancer because studies say that a daily dose of one hour sitting in the traffic jam day after day all summer, can add up to a greater risk factor.


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Why drivers are at risk

A study has found that though windshields can provide some protection, the car’s side windows do not. Windshields can only provide excellent protection against UV light, which is associated with risk for skin cancer and cataracts, but a car’s side windows do not. However, applying additional protection is still ideal considering the harsher effects of the sun because of the climate change.

‘There appears to be considerable variation in side-window UV-A, a type of UV specifically associated with skin damage, blockage and information that is not easily obtainable by the consumer.’

Commuters are also in danger too!

UV-A also goes through glass, making it a potential issue for those who have daily commutes or spend extended periods in the car. In another research, experts have found that UV protection provided by glass in 29 cars that were produced between 1990 and 2014.

Their independent study has concluded that the windshield tends to provide good protection blocking 96 percent of UV-A rays on average. The protection, however, was lower at 71 percent and inconsistent for the cars’ side windows.

The perils of UV exposure are cumulative, and symptoms of skin diseases will not show up after one or two days. This is why majority of people find it non-threatening, when in fact, skin cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK. A continuous trend in skin cancer development in the country has been increased by 360% since the 70s, recording an additional 14,000 cases in 2013.

The World Health Organisation, on the other hand, reports that worldwide, approximately 900,000 people are blind because of cataracts triggered by UV exposure, and that one out of five cataracts could be due to UV exposure. While putting on some glasses and lathering a layer of sunblock all you’re your body or wearing prescription sunglasses may help, experts say that UV light can still penetrate through the lotion, so it’s best to get an extra layer of protection on your car.

One of the best benefits of car window tinting is the protection it gives against the harmful UV rays. Some of the films used in car window tinting filter out at least 80% of the UV rays from the sun. These UV rays does not only affect your skin from the outside, which causes skin aging, but, can bring in more serious skin conditions such as skin cancer. The car tinting industry today offers specialized window tints that can block up to 99 percent of UV rays.