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Marley Eternit promotes Safe in the Sun roofer campaign

Roofer and builders are not protecting themselves against the harmful effects of the sun new research from Marley Eternit reveals.

Marley Eternit promotes Safe in the Sun roofer campaign

One in three roofers fails to wear a high enough sun cream factor (or none at all) and nearly a quarter of those roofers surveyed don’t protect their arms, legs, back and neck.

UK roofers and builders often work when the sun is at its hottest between the hours of 11am-3pm. This puts them at greater risk than most from the harmful effects of the sun. With weather predictions for July and August set to beat those of 19761, the hottest summer yet, Marley Eternit are advising roofers to protect themselves.

“We urge roofers and builders to protect themselves this summer. If the air temperature is 18°C, the temperature of a typical elevated roof surface for example, exposed to direct sunlight, can easily reach 32°C”, says Sarah Hanlon from Marley Eternit.

“With temperatures set to soar this summer, it’s going to get very hot on the roof! It’s not uncommon for roof temperatures to reach 60°C.”

Figures from Cancer Research show that over the last 25 years, rates of skin cancer in Britain have risen faster than any other common cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancer, which is mainly caused by sun exposure, is more common in males. Within the UK over a third of male skin cancers arise on the trunk of the body, particularly the back.

Kimberley Carter of the British Association of Dermatologists said: “Unfortunately, by the very nature of their work, roofers and builders are at higher risk of skin cancer than many other professions, because of the amount of time spent outdoors in the sun.

“When it’s hot, it’s tempting to strip off to cool down. But without any fabric to protect the skin, you can easily burn, which greatly increases your chances of developing melanoma – the deadliest type of skin cancer. Sunscreen can help, but use a minimum of SPF 30 and a water resistant formula so it doesn’t come off as easily when you sweat, and make sure you reapply at least every two hours.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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