FAQs

1. Does sun exposure increase the risk of melanoma?

Sunburn increases the risk of melanoma, but non-burning sun exposure even in large lifetime amounts reduces or has no effect on the risk of melanoma.

2. Does a sunburn increase the risk of non-melanoma skin cancer?

Sunburn also increases the non-melanoma skin cancer (squamous cell and basal cell), but unlike melanoma large amounts of non-burning lifetime sun exposure also increases the risk of squamous cell skin cancer, but only above a threshold of 20,000 lifetime hours for fair-skinned people such as north Europeans and 70,000 hours for darker-skinned people such as south Europeans.

3. What is the cause of insufficient sun exposure?

Inadequate sun exposure, caused by the migration of the workforce from outdoor to indoor work and the indoor attractions of air conditioning, television, video games and the internet, and amplified by the CDC’s advice to avoid sun exposure, has become rampant in the U.S.; 77% of all Americans and 97% of African-Americans have inadequate sun exposure.

4. What are the consequences of insufficient sun exposure?

The consequences of inadequate sun exposure are severe, resulting in premature death and significant increased risk of a wide variety of catastrophic bodily malfunctions at the cellular and molecular level resulting in:

  • Hypertension

  • Cardiovascular Disease

  • Cancer

  • Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

  • Metabolic Syndrome

  • Obesity

  • Alzheimer’s Disease

  • Multiple Sclerosis

  • Autism

  • Myopia

  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Insufficient sun exposure causes many other adverse health conditions.

 

5. What are the deadly effects of insufficient sun exposure?

Studies have found that insufficient sun exposure is responsible for 340,000 premature deaths annually in the United States making it the nation’s second largest public health problem after smoking’s 480,000 premature deaths, and for a:

  • 100% increased risk of colon cancer

  • 400% increased risk of breast cancer

  • 79% increased risk of death from breast cancer in breast cancer patients

  • 35% increased risk of type 2 diabetes

  • 122% increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease

  • 35% increased risk of multiple sclerosis in women

  • 43% increased risk of multiple sclerosis in women

  • 90% increased risk multiple sclerosis in offspring

  • 142% increased risk of autism in offspring

  • 67% increased risk of type 1 diabetes in offspring.

Recently, evidence has been accumulating that inadequate sun exposure may increase COVID-19 risk and mortality. Also, a 64% increased risk of metabolic syndrome in the elderly. These problems can be corrected for most people by getting 10-30 minutes of intentional mid-day non-burning sun exposure several times a week. People with darker skin need more than people with lighter skin.

6. Who should get tested for insufficient sun exposure?

Every person in the U.S. should get tested to determine if they are suffering from inadequate sun exposure. The best test for this is the standard vitamin D test which determines the level of the biochemical 25(OH)D in the blood. Since 90% of this biochemical is produced by sun exposure, its level in the blood is the best metric for the amount of sun exposure experienced by the person tested. A reading of less than 30 ng/mL of serum 25(OH)D on a this test indicates you need more sun exposure.

The rise in incidence of melanoma can be stopped and reversed if people studiously avoid sunburns. Currently, more than half the population gets at least one sunburn a year.

Sunshine Should Be Pursued In Moderation.

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America's second largest public health problem is insufficient sun exposure. It's responsible for 340,000 preventable deaths per year, just behind tobacco and ahead of obesity.

 

The public needs to be aware of insufficient sun exposure risks and increase daily sun exposure to improve health.

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Stop fearing the sun.

Embrace sunshine.

Let's build healthier communities.