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EPA Region 7 Urges Heartland Residents to Guard Against Skin Cancer by Observing ‘Don’t Fry Day’ on Friday, May 27

Release Date: 05/26/2011
Contact Information: Ben Washburn, 913-551-7364,

Environmental News


(Kansas City, Kan., May 26, 2011) - Every hour, one American dies from skin cancer – the number one cancer in the U.S. To help people learn easy ways to combat the disease, the U.S. EPA SunWise Program has partnered with the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to designate the Friday before Memorial Day (May 27) as “Don’t Fry Day.” EPA Region 7 encourages residents to learn about and practice sun-safe behaviors this Don’t Fry Day to reduce overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation – the main cause of skin cancer.

“Ultraviolet radiation is a serious threat to our health that we face every day,” EPA Region 7 Administrator Karl Brooks said. “The long and hot summer days of the Heartland only increase the threat we all face. I encourage everyone to remember sun safety this summer as we enjoy the opportunities that this season brings us.”

Each Memorial Day weekend, millions of Americans kick off the summer season and begin enjoying the great outdoors. Though skin cancer risks exist all year long, the dangers are even greater during the summer months, when the days are longer, and more people are outside for longer periods of time.

For “Don’t Fry Day,” Region 7 encourages residents to practice the Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap safety tips, which include:

  • Slip on a shirt, preferably with sleeves
  • Slop on SPF 15+ sunscreen generously
  • Slap on a hat
  • Wrap on sunglasses
SunWise also recommends that families seek shade during the sun’s peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Checking the UV Index to plan outdoor activities is also key for identifying times that pose the greatest risk for overexposure to the sun.

In the U.S., skin cancer affects more than two million people each year, outnumbering the cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. One in five Americans will develop the disease in their lifetime. Meanwhile, melanoma – the most serious form of skin cancer – is on the rise. It is the most common cancer among young adults ages 25 to 29.

For more on “Don’t Fry Day” and additional sun safety resources, including a sun safety packing list and new public service announcements created by kids in K-8, go to:

EPA’s SunWise program is a national environmental and health education program that teaches children and their caregivers how to be safe in the sun through the use of classroom-, school-, and community-based components. To learn more about free SunWise resources, download the UV Index widget or smart phone application, or sign up to receive daily UV Index forecasts, visit
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