May 31st, 2019 (provided by CMPF)
Maryellen Maguire-Eisen, Founder and Executive Director of the Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation (CMPF), recently spent a morning at the Boston Harbor Islands’ offices in the Hingham Shipyard to train staff members on the importance of sun protection and skin cancer prevention for outdoor workers.
Although CMPF is the only national foundation exclusively focused on preventing skin cancer in children, the Foundation and its staff serve a wide and diverse audience.
The group attending the training session included Visitor Center Representatives, Operational Staffers and those who maintain the land and facilities on the Islands. The Foundation has been working closely with the Islands on a multitude of educational and advocacy projects over the past three years.
Ms. Maguire-Eisen said, “Those who make their living working exclusively outdoors need to be particularly vigilant about protecting their skin from overexposure to the sun’s damaging rays.”
“Studies show that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. One American dies from it every 45 minutes. It’s imperative to be educated about the risks especially when working outdoors. It’s also important to remember that skin cancer is highly preventable if the proper precautions are taken.”
Through the generous support of Neutrogena and William Blair & Company, the Foundation is supplying complimentary sunscreen for all staff members as well as sunscreen in public access pump containers positioned on the Islands for the use of visitors throughout the summer.
Ms. Maguire-Eisen explained that sunscreen is most effective when applied liberally and often throughout the day.
“If you will be working outdoors all day, remember to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours, or more frequently if perspiring.” She also said that the Food and Drug Administration does not recommend using combination products that contain sunscreen and bug repellant.
It’s also very important to be aware of the daily UV (ultraviolet) Index, an international, standard measurement of the strength of UVB (sun burning rays) for a given day and location. There are free apps for your Smartphone that provide up-to-date UV intensity levels for your specific location and time of day.
While many people might assume it is easiest to develop a severe sunburn in the middle of the summer, Ms. Maguire-Eisen said, “It is actually more common to get a sunburn in Hingham in May than in August because the UV intensity is actually higher on average. It’s important to check the Index daily.”
Staff members were also invited to utilize the Foundation’s UV video camera system to visualize their own skin for signs of damage.
She said, “Our UV camera system provides a ‘personal snapshot’ so a person can clearly see his or her sun damage and if they’ve properly applied their sunscreen. It is common to miss applying sunscreen to around the eyes, ears and hairline which are all common sites for skin cancer to develop.”
As part of the Foundation’s ongoing partnership and commitment, representatives from CMPF will be on Spectacle Island several times this summer to offer educational materials and distribute additional sunscreen to all visitors.
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Norwell, CMPF is dedicated to raising awareness through education and advocacy about sun protection and skin cancer prevention through its free SunAWARE programming offered in schools, community centers, summer camps, and more.
Over the past 16 years, CMPF has reached more than 1 million children and the people who care for them.
Maryellen Maguire-Eisen is an oncology and dermatology nurse with more than 35 years of experience. She is also an Adjunct Clinical Instructor at Boston University and an American Cancer Society Scholar.
To learn more about the Foundation’s ongoing work, visit https://www.melanomaprevention.org/