Shade: A Critical Part of Community Skin Cancer Prevention Efforts
Communities can play an important role in skin cancer prevention in many ways, one of which is by increasing the availability of shade in outdoor settings. Whether natural (trees) or manmade (tents, umbrellas), shade makes it easier for people to stay sun-safe while spending time outdoors. In addition to providing UV protection which can help prevent sunburn and reduce skin cancer risk, shade has many other benefits, including energy conservation, reduced heat island effect (in urban areas), and the creation of outdoor spaces that are more comfortable for those engaged in physical activity. A new publication, led by CDC staff and published in the American Journal of Public Health, provides an overview of the literature on shade design, shade use behaviors, and shade policies. This publication brings attention to the value of integrating shade planning into community design and the importance of taking a multi-disciplinary approach to skin cancer prevention.