The summer of 2018 was a record breaker for many reasons, not only did England get to a semi-final of the world cup for the first time since 1990, but it was the joint hottest summer since records began in 1910.  The sun shone 40% more than average in June and July with UV levels frequently in the very high category.

With spring on the horizon, for professional trades people who often work outside, this is welcome news, but it’s also the time to take stock of skin care.

The harmful UV rays emitted by the sun mean that just 20 minutes of unprotected exposure can have severe consequences on the skin. It’s a surprise to many that, even when it’s overcast, you are still exposed to dangerous UV rays, with up to 80% of them passing through cloud.

UV radiation from the sun can cause serious skin damage, including sun burn, blistering, and premature ageing. In the long term, it could even lead to skin cancer; one of the most common cancers in the world. Rates of malignant melanomas have been rising in the UK since the mid-1970s and Cancer Research UK estimates that the rate will increase by 7% by 2035 to 32 cases per 100,000 people.

One shocking statistic came from a recent study by Imperial College London. They found that working outdoors could lead to one death and around five new cases of melanoma skin cancer a week.

The Institute of Occupational Safety and Health reports that 90% of deaths from skin cancer are avoidable. It is generally accepted that those who repeatedly over-expose themselves to high levels of UV are at the highest risk of developing skin cancer.

To help understand if the summer of 2018 changed the way professional trades people view sun protection, Swarfega are calling out to people who work outside to complete a short survey here

Every professional trades person that completes the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a £150 Amazon voucher, and the first 10 entrants will get a TOUGH by Swarfega wash bag sent to them.