In Australia, where people drive on the left side of the road, it was observed that, skin cancer occurs more on the right side of the face.”
Whilst evaluating a patient with keratoconus, Brian Boxer, Wachler, MD and lead researcher and ophthalmologist, observed that patient’s age spots was on her left cheek, in line with other studies which also found the occurrence of skin cancer more on the left side of the face as against the right side of the face.
Every time you get in your car, you’re bombarded with ultraviolet A (UV-A) radiation through your car windows and windshield. UV-A rays from the sun is known to cause premature aging, wrinkles, skin cancer and cataracts.
Are the Windows in Cars not UV protected?
According to a new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology., all the windows in a car may offer some protection, yet, they are not all created equally, hence, this may cause in skin damage. The UV-A protection of cars in the United States differs across models according to Boxer Wachler
The researchers measured the radiation entering vehicles through the windshield and the driver-side windows. 29 automobiles manufactured by 15 automobile manufacturers with manufacturing dates ranging from 1990 to 2014 were studied. The average make year was 2010.
It appears that a car’s windshield prevents roughly 96 percent of the UV-A radiation when you’re driving,
The car’s side windows prevent about 71 percent of those damaging rays.
Only four out of 29 cars (14 percent) had side windows that prevent over 90 percent of UV-A radiation.
Side-window protection was highly variable as no relationship was evident between high-end cars and low-end cars for side-window UV protection.
Most expensive cars also contain poor UV protection on their side-windows, as found in less expensive cars.
Most of the tinted windows on cars were found to have low UV protection; hence it is believed that Tinted windows do not guarantee full UV protection.
UV-A damage is extremely harmful. “These are the rays used in tanning beds, and they’re more linked to aging, wrinkling of the skin, and skin cancer than UV-B,” Markowitz says.
When UV-A rays come in contact with the skin, they start altering DNA, and this alteration can continue years after exposure.”
Remember that you’re constantly exposed to dangerous UV-A light penetrating both car and home windows.
Windows with UV protection may not offer full protection. Why US doctors find skin cancer and cataracts more on the left side of the face As a result of poor or lower UV protection in the driver’s-side windows,doctors and researchers in the US did note that skin cancers and cataracts tend to occur more on the left side of the face where the driver of the car is exposed to more UV-A radiation.
What to do
Get an aftermarket fully UV-blocking clear film on your car’s side windows. This will protect you and family, especially at the back seats.”
You can get UV test to determine the level of UV protection in your car or home.
Add “UV protection” to the checklist of the next car you want to purchase and ensure it has the best protection that you can find. Although, it is still been hoped that car manufacturers will begin to consider UV-A protection as a “potential public safety issue and ensure prevention of the rays.