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Are You Ready For Summer?

Vancouver is known for its cloudy and rainy weather which has helped the city earn its legendary titles such as Raincouver and Raincity. So, the last thing anyone ever thinks about here is Sunscreen! Well, let this blog open our eyes about the effects of UV rays with or without the sunny days! The information on this blog will enable you to protect yourself and your workforce from harmful UV rays.

Clouds only block 20% of the sun’s UVR even though they block the visible light.

Ultraviolet (UV) rays come from the sun and offer us many benefits. However, when exposed for too long, UV rays are strong enough to damage the skin. “According to the CSF, up to 80 percent of the sun's UV rays can pass through clouds. This is the reason people often end up with serious sunburns on overcast days if they've spent time outside with no sunscreen or any other form of protection. Even in the winter months, you need to beware: Snow can reflect up to 80 percent of UV rays, increasing exposure” (CNN, 2012). On average, a person's risk for melanoma doubles if he or she has had more than FIVE sunburns. It takes only one blistering sunburn to double a person’s chances of developing melanoma. It is also important to know that outdoor workers are up to 2.5 to 3.5 times more likely to be diagnosed with skin cancers with 1,700 people, (5 people per day) getting skin cancer from sun exposure at work (Ontario Sun Safety Working Group). Regular daily use of an SPF 30 or higher reduces melanoma risk by 50% by blocking 97% of UVB radiation and slows skin aging by 24%.

Why is UV Sun Exposure Dangerous?

UVA -accounts for up to 95% of the UV radiation reaching the Earth's surface. UVA penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB causing skin cancer and wrinkling/ premature aging. UVB is the main cause of skin reddening and sunburn and plays a key role in the development of skin cancer.  UVC is blocked by the ozone layer, however are created artificially during industrial processes such as welding.

Employer’s Responsibilities

Most employers believe that Sunscreen is part of personal grooming and that employer’s don’t have to pay for their employee’s lotion. Currently, 71% of workers in Canada are not provided with a sunscreen at work. However, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide adequate protection for their employees. The Canada Labor Code states that every employer shall ensure that the health and safety at work of every person employed by the employer is protected. Furthermore, it states “Where there is a hazard of injury or disease to or through the skin in a work place, the employer shall provide to every person granted access to the work place the following:

(a) A shield or screen;

(b) A cream to protect the skin; or

(c) An appropriate body covering”

Implementation of a comprehensive UVR policy and providing protection is beneficial to programming for multiple reasons including sustainability, cost effectiveness and accountability. For employers, prevention of skin cancer can result in improved health of their employees, decrease in time away from work due to treatment of the skin cancer, including appointments, biopsies, surgery and subsequent recovery and stress; maintenance of productivity levels and lower cost to health benefit programs.

If SPF30 is not high enough, why wouldn't I get SPF50 or higher?

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends a broad spectrum sunscreen (protects against UVA and UVB rays) with an SPF of 30 or higher. A product with SPF 30 absorbs 97%of UVB radiation, while SPF of 50 and above does not substantially increase protection from UV radiation. The only difference is usually that SPF30 and higher is more expensive. Moreover, it is recommended to carefully follow instructions to ensure that the sun protection factor can be achieved. This includes applying product before exposure and re-applying frequently especially when perspiring. Click here to learn more about skin protection.



Please contact us at 604-253-4588 or visit to order Sun Protection products today!



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