EPA Encourages Sun Safety on ‘Don’t Fry Day’ as America Heads Into Holiday Weekend
Learn more about a few simple steps to protect your skin and eye health while outdoors this summer
WASHINGTON — Today, before the Memorial Day long weekend, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), along with the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention, is recognizing the 15th “Don’t Fry Day” to encourage Americans to take a few simple steps to protect their skin and eye health while outdoors. Overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can increase the risk of developing skin cancer, so it is important to be aware of the strength of the sun’s UV rays when enjoying your time outside.
“This long weekend, and all summer long, remember to take care of your skin and eyes when you are enjoying the outdoors,” said Joseph Goffman, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “Wear sunscreen, protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses. Sun damage is builds up over your lifetime, so take care of your skin every day you’re outdoors.”
Since most skin cancer cases and deaths are caused by exposure to UV radiation, many cases may be preventable. The American Skin Cancer Society estimates that in 2023 more than 97,600 new cases of invasive melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, will be diagnosed in the United States. This is roughly 1,400 fewer cases than were estimated in 2022.
All people are equally at risk of eye damage and developing cataracts, but some people may be at greater risk of contracting skin cancer depending on the color of their skin, a history of blistering sunburns in early childhood, the presence of many moles, or a family history of skin cancer. Also, be aware that UV may be high even in winter depending on factors such as location, elevation, and reflective surfaces.
Reduce your risk of skin cancer and eye damage by remembering to:
- SLIP! – Slip on a long-sleeved shirt or other clothing that covers your skin.
- SLOP! – Slop on a handful of sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher, and re-apply every two hours, or sooner if in the water.
- SLAP! – Slap on a broad-brimmed hat to cover the back of your neck and the tips of your ears.
- WRAP! – Wrap on a pair of sunglasses. Sunglasses that wrap around the sides of your face provide more sun protection.
- Avoid tanning beds and minimize sunbathing.
- Check the UV Index before spending time outdoors.
EPA, the National Weather Service, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention work together to make the UV Index forecast available in the United States. EPA’s UV index app (search for EPA’s UV Index in the 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, provides recommendations on sun safety, and is also available in Spanish.
Download Don’t Fry Day and sun safety posters, sign up for a daily UV Index forecast via email, or check the UV Index online daily at EPA's Sun Safety webpage.