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May 23, 2008
Sun safety precautions advised during National Sun Awareness Week
During National Sun Awareness Week, May 26 to June 1, Toronto Public Health is reminding residents to take precautions while enjoying physical activity outdoors.

“Outdoor physical activity is a great way to stay healthy and enjoy the warmer weather,” said Dr. David McKeown, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health. “Effective sun protection keeps skin healthy and decreases the risk of both sunburn and skin cancer.”

Follow these six recommendations for safer outdoor activity:
  1. Limit time in the sun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., or whenever the UV index is 3 or higher.
  2. Look for shaded areas for outdoor activities, or create your own shade.
  3. Wear a hat with a wide brim, or with a visor and back neck flap..
  4. Wear clothing to protect as much skin as possible.
  5. Wear UVA and UVB protective sunglasses.
  6. Use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher that gives protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada with an estimated 77,600 new cases predicted for 2008. “The best way to reduce the risk of skin cancer is to reduce exposure to direct sun and artificial tanning,” McKeown added.

National Sun Awareness Week is sponsored by the Canadian Dermatology Association. For more information about sun safety resources and programming that Toronto Public Health offers throughout the year, visit

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Susan Sperling, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974,



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