Posted in  Exterior Shading Fabrics   on  May 10, 2024

Do you ever worry about the sun's harmful UV rays coming through your windows? You're not alone. The sun's ultraviolet radiation can damage your skin, even through glass. Luckily, there are ways to protect yourself, such as solar screens or sun shades. But how effective are they really? In this article, we'll explore the efficacy of window screens for UV protection, as well as other tips and tricks for sun safety. So, if you're concerned about the sun's rays coming through your windows or into your outdoor living space, read on to find out how you can protect yourself!

Where does skin cancer rank on the list of most fatal types of cancer?

Skin cancer is one of the deadliest types of cancer, ranking just behind lung cancer and colorectal cancer in terms of mortality rates. It's estimated that over 100,000 people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year, and nearly 10,000 die from the disease. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with one in five Americans developing it by the age of 70, and it is rapidly becoming a global health concern.

The three most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the most common forms of skin cancer. Luckily, they are usually curable if caught early.

What is the most dangerous type of skin cancer?

While much less common, Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer because it has a tendency to spread unnoticed. It can occur on any part of the body, not just areas exposed to the sun. Melanoma can be caused by sunburns, as well as cumulative sun damage from years of exposure. That's why it's so important to protect your skin from the sun, even on cloudy days or when you're indoors.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends monthly self-exams and annual dermatologist visits for early detection of skin cancer, including melanoma. Sunscreen should be an essential part of your daily routine, and you should look for broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15 or higher and UVA and UVB blocking capabilities. Additionally, hats with a three-inch brim or larger and sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays should be worn when outdoors.

In order to reduce the risk of melanoma and other skin cancers, it's important to take sun protection seriously. Covering up with clothing and a wide-brimmed hat, as well as applying sunscreen and wearing sunglasses, are all necessary steps to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. It's also important to avoid tanning beds and to have regular self-exams and dermatologist visits to check for signs of early skin cancer.

SunScreen® or SunScreen?

When it comes to keeping your skin safe from the sun's harmful rays, you can't go wrong with either SunScreen products or regular sunscreen lotions!

SunScreen® and SunTex®, popular brand names of solar shade material from Phifer, offer a great option if you want a long-term solution to greater sun protection. They are designed to block up to 97% of UV rays and are available in a variety of colors, weave designs and sizes to fit your needs. This range of products are designed to help block harmful UV rays while still allowing natural light and ventilation into your home, office or outdoor space. Check out this case study to learn how they worked for a homeowner. 

On the other hand, sunscreen lotions are a great option for those looking for a more immediate solution to sun protection. These lotions are designed to provide an immediate barrier against the sun's UV rays and are available in a variety of SPFs to fit your needs for outdoor activities. Sunscreen lotions should be applied generously and re-applied every two hours or after swimming or sweating.

No matter what you choose, it's important to remember to always wear sunscreen when outdoors, even on cloudy days. When combined with clothing, hats and sunglasses, regular use of sunscreen can help protect your skin from premature aging, dark spots and skin cancer.

Phifer SunScreen

Phifer SunTex 95/97

Can window screens protect you from the sun/UV rays?

It's important to remember that even when you're indoors, UV rays can still reach you through glass, so it's essential to take measures to protect yourself from the sun's harmful rays. Standard window screens offer limited help since they are a more open mesh designed for air flow, visibility and protection from insects. 

However, the material in window screens can

be replaced with solar protective screening that will block UV rays before they reach the window’s glass. Solar screens can also reduce the amount of heat entering your home, resulting in cooler temperatures and lower energy bills. When choosing which sun blocking material to use, darker colors are better for outward visibility and daytime privacy.

It's also important to remember that the sun's rays are strongest during the middle of the day, so it's best to stay in the shade during those times. 

How can roller shades on the inside of your window protect you from the sun/UV rays?

Roller shades on the inside of your windows provide an effective defense against the sun's damaging UV rays, helping to keep you and your family safe from the harmful effects of overexposure. Interior solar shades with Phifer SheerWeave® fabrics can provide additional protection as the UV index climbs and heat increases inside a home or business.

Depending on the product, roller shades can block from 75% to 100% of the sun’s harmful 

SheerWeave by Phifer

Photo courtesy of Blind Designs SA.

UV rays. Roller shade fabrics are made of densely woven fiberglass and polyester yarns which block out UV rays, while still allowing natural light to enter your home. They also provide privacy and insulation, helping to keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. SheerWeave fabrics are available in a variety of colors and styles, so you can design the perfect shade to fit your home's decor.

Roller shades offer a simple and effective way to protect yourself and your family from the sun's damaging UV rays. Best of all, roller shades are an affordable and easy way to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays. With the right combination of screens and shades, you can keep yourself safe from the sun's UV rays even when indoors.

What geographic areas of the USA have the highest skin cancer rates?

In the United States, skin cancer rates vary widely from region to region, with some parts of the country seeing significantly higher rates than others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the states with the highest skin cancer rates are Hawaii, New Mexico, and Arizona.

These states are all in the sun-drenched 

southwest, where temperatures often reach over 100 degrees during the summer months. Residents of these and other sunny states should take extra precautions to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

Wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 15 is essential for keeping skin healthy and cancer-free. When outdoors, seek shade whenever possible, and avoid tanning beds, which are known to increase the risk of skin cancer. Even on cloudy days, UV rays can still cause damage, so remember to apply sunscreen and practice sun safety year-round.

Taking these proactive steps can help reduce risk of developing skin cancer in these high risk areas. Additionally, people living in these areas should be aware of their individual risk factors and see a dermatologist for regular screenings.

What is the average age of skin cancer patients?

On average, skin cancer patients are diagnosed in their mid-50s, making it one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among older adults. This can be a scary figure, as skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States and can be deadly if left untreated. Even more alarming is the fact that skin cancer can affect people of all ages, not just those in their mid-50s.

It's important for everyone to take steps to protect themselves from harmful UV rays and catch any skin cancer early. The most effective way to protect yourself from skin cancer is through prevention. This means avoiding sunburns, covering up with clothing and hats, and wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. It's also important to take extra precautions while driving, as UV rays can penetrate car windows. Sunglasses with 99-100% UVA and UVB protection are also essential for protecting your eyes.

If caught early, skin cancer can be successfully treated, meaning monthly self-exams and an annual check-up with a dermatologist can be life-saving. While the average age of diagnosis is mid-50s, it's important for everyone to be aware of the risks and take steps to protect themselves from the sun.


You now know the importance of protecting yourself from the sun's UV rays and how effective window screens and solar screens can be in providing that protection.

But remember, your best line of defense is to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and to limit your exposure to the sun.

Skin cancer is a serious and potentially deadly disease, and the best way to prevent it is to be informed and take the necessary steps to protect yourself by practicing sun safety. Stay out of the sun during peak hours, wear protective clothing, use sunscreen, and avoid tanning beds.

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