An official website of the United States government.

News Releases from HeadquartersAir and Radiation (OAR)

EPA and the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention Mark 10 Years of “Don’t Fry Day”

Contact Information: 
Press Office (

WASHINGTON  — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), joined by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention (NCSCP), is recognizing today, the Friday before Memorial Day, as “Don’t Fry Day.” This year marks the 10th anniversary. EPA, along with NCSCP, is encouraging Americans to take simple steps throughout the summer to protect their health and prevent skin cancer and eye damage caused by the sun’s harmful rays.

“As the weather gets warm and Americans spend more time outdoors, the risk for ultraviolet damage of the skin increases. We want to remind all Americans to be smart in the sun this holiday weekend and throughout the year,” said Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation Bill Wehrum.  

According to the American Cancer Society, more Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other cancers combined, and in the U.S. there is approximately one skin cancer-related death every hour. Over 90% of skin cancers are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and indoor tanning, so it is also one of the most preventable cancers.

Reduce risk of skin cancer by:
•    Seeking shade when outside during mid-day hours;
•    Wearing clothing that protects skin from UV rays;
•    Generously applying sunscreen, and reapplying often;
•    Being aware that reflective water, snow, and sand intensify UV exposure, and
•    Avoiding tanning beds and minimizing sunbathing.

Since 1998, the NCSCP has been a trusted resource for the nation’s skin cancer prevention community with more than 45 organizations, agencies, and associations, including EPA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Core members include the American Academy of Dermatology, American Cancer Society, Melanoma Research Foundation, and Skin Cancer Foundation.

EPA’s UV index app (search for EPA’s UV Index in the iPhone App Store and on Google Play) is a convenient tool to let you know the strength of the sun’s skin cancer-causing UV rays. The app gives daily and hourly UV intensity forecasts for your location, and provides recommendations on sun safety. Be sure to get the app on your smartphone, sign up for a daily UV Index forecast via email, or check the UV Index online at