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Region 1 News Release:   BOS 2001-069
Wednesday, May 30, 2001
Contact: Ted Fitzgerald
Phone: (617) 565-2074

Pocket-sized Sun Safety Card Available Free of Charge

BOSTON -- The arrival of warmer weather means that an increasing number of New Englanders will be working outdoors and will be exposed to sunlight while doing so. Sunlight is the main source of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause eye damage, premature aging of the skin, and skin cancers, such as melanoma.

In an effort to help the region's workers safeguard themselves against UV radiation, the U.S. Labor Department's Occupational Safety and Health Administration suggests that they take the following precautions when working outdoors:

  • Wear protective clothing that does not transmit visible light.
  • Frequently apply sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor of 15 or higher.
  • Wear broad-brimmed hats that protect the face, ears and neck.
  • Wear sunglasses that block UV rays.
  • Seek shade, if possible, when the sun's intensity is at its peak-between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of skin cancers and see a health-care clinician if an unusual skin change occurs.

"Melanoma accounts for more than three-fourths of skin cancer-related deaths each year, though most skin cancers can be cured if detected early enough," said Ruth McCully, OSHA Regional Administrator for New England. "Unprotected employees working in sunlight risk exposure to UV radiation. Outdoor workers with fair skin and hair, freckles, or numerous or irregular moles are especially susceptible to sun damage. Even a few serious sunburns can increase the risk of skin cancer. However, workers can take steps to protect their health and well-being."

To further assist workers and employers, OSHA has published a free pocket-sized card, "Protecting Yourself Against Harmful Sunlight" (OSHA Publication 3166), which provides detailed information on the hazards of UV radiation, symptoms of exposure, methods of protection and sources of additional information. The pocket card is advisory in nature and informational in content. It is neither a new standard nor a new regulation and it creates no legal obligation.

"These simple precautions plus a knowledge of the hazards of UV exposure are workers' best allies in combating one of nature's deadliest hazards, now and in summers to come" said McCully.

New England workers and employers may obtain copies of the pocket card free of charge from one of the following OSHA area offices:

Connecticut: Hartford (860-240-3152) - Bridgeport (203-579-5581)
Maine: Portland (207-780-3178) - Bangor (207-941-8177)
Massachusetts: Braintree (617-565-6924) - Methuen (617-565-8110) - Springfield (413-785-0354)
New Hampshire: Concord (603-225-1629)
Rhode Island: Providence (401-528-4669)

The pocket card is also available in PDF format through OSHA's website at:

Further information on detecting, preventing and treating skin cancer is also available from the websites of the American Cancer Society ( and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (

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The information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (617) 565-2072. TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) Message Referral Phone: 800-347-8029.

Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents

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