Almost half of Brits confused over risk of skin cancer

New research commissioned by Tesco suggests that as many as one in five (23%) Brits are not even aware of what UVA and UVB rays are, let alone the damage they can cause, despite the fact that they are present come rain or shine.

Despite experiencing another wash-out summer with little sunshine, Brits are continuing to put themselves at risk from harmful UVA and UVB sun rays, even though skin cancer is now the most common form of cancer in the UK.

40% of those asked to correctly identify what UVA and UVB sun rays are could not do so – and 13% believed that only UVA rays were harmful. They were also unable to identify that both UVA and UVB rays could cause skin damage and cancer.

“It’s clear from this research that consumers are still confused, said Duncan Graham, a spokesperson at Tesco. “UVA and UVB rays both cause damage, even when the sun is not shining, which is why consumers should seek broad spectrum sun protection that offers both UVA defence and SPF protection against UVB rays.

“UVB can cause immediate and obvious sun damage in the form of sunburn, whereas the damage that UVA rays are causing in the short-term is hard to see, but both increase the risk of skin cancer in the long-term,” he added.

Over half of those questioned (52%), do not even have a basic understanding of what SPF (sun protection factor) stands for, or the important role it plays in safe sun-exposure. The survey also found that alarmingly as many as one in six people admit they still never buy sun cream, with the worst culprits from Northern Ireland (37%), followed by those in the South West (21%).

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For further details about the recent research into Sun Protection and UK consumers contact:

Clare English
BMA Communications
020 7438 4982