More than 89 percent of summer travel will occur by car this year, according to AAA (American Automobile Association.) But of the 31.2 million people who will travel this year, a trip to the beach or lake in the family sport utility vehicle could have some unintended consequences.
Parents may be inadvertently exposing themselves and their children to harmful ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, a known cause of skin cancer. Most standard and privacy glass side and rear windows of SUV’s, CUV’s, and minivans do not provide adequate protection from the sun, unless protected with a high performance window film. In response, Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE: EMN), the world’s largest manufacturer of window film, has made virtually clear automotive window film widely available under its LLumar® window film line. Clear window film is becoming increasingly popular among women, who often don’t like the appearance of dark window films.
Because ordinary glass protects against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which cause blistering and sunburns, many people do not realize they are still being exposed to harmful UVA rays that penetrate deep into the skin. UVA rays are the same rays that cause auto interiors to fade and crack as time passes. Known as “sunblock for your car,” LLumar window film adds a protective layer to glass, offering high-quality sun protection. The transparent film blocks up to 99 percent of all harmful ultraviolet rays which penetrate glass, and cause long term, cumulative skin damage.
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, each year in the United States there are more than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer. This is more than the combined incidents of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers.
A 2010 study from the St. Louis University Medical School revealed that nearly 53 percent of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or drivers' side of the body. Researchers believe the increase in left-sided skin cancers may be from exposure to UVA radiation while driving. The trend reverses to the right side of the body in countries like Australia, where the drivers sit on the right side of the car. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, 90 percent of all non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to UV radiation. UVA rays penetrate glass during daylight hours, 365 days a year, even on cloudy days.
In a recent article,* ”Sun Hazards in Your Car,” Susan Butler, MD, a dermatologist and micrographic surgeon at the California Institute, points to a trend in “wrinkles, leathering, sagging, brown ‘age’ spots and even skin cancers” on the left side of patient’s faces. “The more time subjects spent driving a vehicle, the more severe their photodamage on the left side.”
“Most parents don’t let their kids outside to play without sunscreen, yet they may be exposing them to sun damage every time they are in the car,” says Mark Gershenson, Director, Global LLumar Brand Management at Eastman. “Installation of window film is relatively inexpensive and you don’t have to think about it. For busy parents, this can be a both a timesaver and a relief. ” A typical window film installation ranges from $200-$500 depending on the size of the vehicle and level of film performance chosen.
LLumar automotive window films have earned The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation, a symbol of safety and efficacy. The Skin Cancer Foundation grants its Seal of Recommendation to products that meet the Foundation’s specific criteria for effective UV sun protection.
LLumar window films can be professionally installed at more than 1,100 LLumar and FormulaOne® dealers throughout the United States. They are manufactured in the United States and are backed with a manufacturer's lifetime warranty. Visit www.LLumar.com to find a local dealer. For parents looking for added privacy for passengers and valuables, LLumar films are available in a wide selection of shades.