Think you’re safe from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays under your basic beach umbrella? Think again… Up to 1/3 of cancer causing UV rays can reach your skin while you are sitting in the shade of your beach umbrella.
People assume that because they are in the shade they are protected from UV rays. Not so. In fact, research has shown that up to 84% of UV rays found in direct sunlight can be found under your umbrella. “How is that so?” you ask.
This is because UVB rays, which are often considered the most harmful part of sunlight, can reach your skin indirectly. Indirect UV light is radiation that has been scattered by the clouds and/or bounced back from UV-reflective surfaces like dry sand or concrete. In fact, a large percentage of the UV light we receive while sitting under a tree or an umbrella is indirect. Unless they are very large or have a sidewall, umbrellas provide relatively little UV protection.
Umbrella’s UPFs can be up to 50+ (UPF, the ultraviolet protection factor, measures protection from UV radiation in fabrics), but no matter how high the fabric’s SPF or UPF, the amount of UV present beneath an umbrella depends on the levels of indirect UV (the amount of indirect UV is proportionate to the amount of open sky visible from the shade). Therefore, a single umbrella on a sandy beach by the sea, as pictured here, provides very little sun protection because of the high amount of UV rays that are reflected under the umbrella from the surfaces of the sand, water and sky.
Researches in New Zealand concluded that shade structures with side-on walls or other side protection provide the greatest shelter from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The utility patented ezShade umbrella is the first and only umbrella to be sold with an easy on/off sidewall called a “sunshield” which helps to block those reflected UV rays. Not only does the ezShade umbrella and sunshield block over 99% of UVA/UVB rays, but it also doubles your shade and keeps you cooler all day long.
Australian researches released a study that tends to show that taking 500mg of Nicotinamide (a form of Vitamin B3) twice a day can reduce the occurrence of non-melanoma skin cancers by as much as 23%. This study was done with 386 people averaging age 66 with half of the group being given Nicotinamide twice a day and the other half being given a placebo. Those taking the Nicotinamide twice a day were shown to have cut their chances of developing new skin cancers by as much as 23%. Nicotinamide is an over the counter supplement.
Skin Cancer Foundation Senior Vice President Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD stated “The results of this study are certainly promising, but we believe that more research is needed to determine whether or not to recommend vitamin B3 therapy for skin cancer prevention.” Dr. Sarnoff added, “What we know for sure is that everyone should adopt a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade and covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use.”