Sunnyside up…

Friday 16 July 2010. AS I listened to Radio 4 Woman’s Hour
on the way to work, I found myself increasingly incensed & talking to the
airwaves.

In the studio was a male travel medicine expert, a woman who
loved the suntanned look, and another woman who was determined to be “pale
& interesting”.

The travel medicine expert
remarked that in the conference
he’d attended the previous week, filled with  reports on vaccinations & exotic diseases linked to travel, there was but “one paper on
the sun”, by which he meant the detrimental effects of it on your health.
This reminded me of an interesting and equally “only one” poster at the UKPHA
meeting 2010 in Bournemouth which intrigued me
because I’d not thought such research was necessary. Elizabeth Norton, a nurse
researcher of Bournemouth University was conducting a study on why young women
were sunbathing on the Bournemouth beach
without sunscreen or other precautions such as reducing the time they spent in
the sun. It was a case of knowing the dangers but just not bothering; comfort
& looking good mattered more.

Our in studio Radio 4 expert claimed that people of his ilk,
were becoming exhausted at warning of the dangers of the sun, without
apparently changing anyone’s behaviour and having any impact on the rising
incidence of skin cancer (2000 people per yr in the UK die from this disease).(I
would have wanted a breakdown on the age groups…are these people who would
have begun package holidaying in the sun since the 1970’s,  how many were veterans of the second-world war
who were unable to take precautions & after 60 tend to get skin cancer? Linked
to the nurse’s study, is it more girls than men? I provide references below
which have some of this information).

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