Why office work may put you at risk of skin cancer

Why office work may put you at risk of skin cancer

With a large percentage of Australians now working in an office based environment, you might think that these “white collar” workers may not have anything to worry about in regards to skin cancer.

You would be very wrong.

You see, anecdotal evidence suggests that office workers seek outdoor activity on the weekends more than outdoor workers, and as a result may suffer more extreme exposure to sun damage in a much shorter time frame than people who work in the sun on a regular basis.

Indeed, recently, one of the announcers on a popular Perth FM station stated that if it was going to be 30 degrees and fine today, she was going to get her legs out at lunchtime… inferring that perhaps she was going to get a tan. She is of course, wrong… what she is really aiming for is skin damage.

Yet, this seems to be the prevailing attitude of so many… and it gets worse.

The World Health Organisation states “Tumour development may be linked to occasional exposure to short periods of intense sunlight, such as at weekends or on holiday.”

Dr. Gabe Mirkin, a US based physician stated: “…since 1940 the greatest increase in melanomas has occurred in office workers. (Medical Hypothesis, January 2009).”

In short, he explained, that people who work in offices can still soak up UVA rays (the bad rays that cause skin damage) through ordinary windows, but UVB rays (the ones that cause sunburn) don’t penetrate the glass in the same way. Suddenly that office with a window doesn’t seem like such a must-have, huh?

As an aside, sun beds (tanning beds) in tanning salons emit UVA as well as some UVB, are being banned all around Australia, with good reason.

A tan is not healthy. It is a sign of skin damage and with one out of every two Australians being diagnosed with a skin cancer of some sort in their lives, it is not the sort of message that our broadcasters should be sending. Particularly in Western Australia…

Skin cancer is NOT a good look, but there is an old saying in broadcasting… he/she has a great head for radio.