by Dave Hansen, Safety Officer
As motorcyclists, we spend a lot of time out in the sun. When we do this, we expose our skin to the Sun’s full spectrum of radiation, which includes ultraviolet (UVA & UVB) radiation. UVA (320-400 nm) radiation in a longer wavelength UV light that can penetrate deeply into the body and has been linked to genetic damage, wrinkling & skin cancer, while UVB (290-320 nm) radiation causes tanning, sunburn & skin aging damage. The most significant amount of UVB occurs between 10 AM and 4 PM between April and October. That’s prime riding time.
So what should we do to prevent UV damage? Wear sunscreen or sunblock products with an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30. Read the label for the product you select to be sure it provides both UVA & UVB protection.
Common FDA-approved active ingredients in sunscreen include:
• UVB absorbers/blockers: Padimate O (Octyldimethyl PABA), Homosalate, Octisalate (Octyl salicylate), Octinoxate (Octyl methoxycinnamate or OCM)
• UVA absorbers/blockers: Avobenzone (Parsol 1789), Zinc Oxide, Ecamsule (Mexoryl)
• UVA and UVB absorbers/blockers: Octocrylene, Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide
Remember – Use Protection!