I thought "stay out of the sun" was a common practice for many of us. It turns out, I'm wrong. The majority of people are still not aware that the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause significant damage to their skin and eyes, even while inside their homes or driving in their cars. This is according to a new IWFA survey among 1,094 U.S. adults, where the results came as a huge surprise to me. What will it take for people to understand the dangers of UV rays?
The unexpected survey findings include:
- More than two-thirds of U.S. adults believe that when inside the house the sun doesn’t damage their skin, and almost 70% say that their eyes are protected from the sun’s UV rays when they’re inside.
- 82% said they don’t need to wear sunscreen when they’re inside the house.
- 100 million adults believe that the windows in their vehicle protect their skin and eyes from the sun’s UV rays, even though a recent study published by JAMA Ophthalmology found that the average side-window of a vehicle may only block about 70% of dangerous UV rays, resulting in inadequate protection.
- More than 52% of adults said they worry about the sun fading their drapes, carpets and home furnishings.
Some of these are dangerous misconceptions. Sunlight streaming through a home or a car’s windows contains invisible Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays that pass through unprotected glass on sunny or even cloudy days, and account for 90% of the sun’s damaging rays reaching earth. These rays can deeply penetrate several layers of skin, which is particularly alarming considering that rates of the deadliest form of skin cancer, invasive melanoma, have risen steadily since 2009, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association’s JAMA Dermatology.
In many cases it doesn’t occur to us that the sun coming through our windows at home, or while driving in our cars, can put us at a higher risk for not only increased wrinkles and premature skin aging, but also UVA-related skin cancer and eye damage. The good news is that professionally installed window film blocks up to 99.9% of UVA rays and offers a practical and cost-effective way to help dramatically protect our skin, eyes, furnishings and more.
Window film is a thin sheet of window coating, professionally and permanently installed, that delivers a range of high‐value benefits in addition to blocking up to 99.9% of UVA rays, such as lower energy costs, more even interior temperatures and more protection from fading. (This last point is of importance to the 52% of adults who said they worry that the sun may cause fading of their drapes, carpets and other home furnishings).
With professionally installed window film, you can choose clear protection with little or no visible change to the look of the windows. There are also many shades and decorative options, from virtually clear, to medium, or dark. In addition, since the product is always in place, there is no required upkeep needed to enjoy its benefits, and comes with a warranty. With this in mind and the holidays approaching, pro-installed window film could make the perfect gift!
Given these significant survey findings, I do hope more people realize the true impact of UV rays on their health and homes - and consider professionally installed window film as a wonderful method of protection. To learn more about how window film can help, be sure to visit iwfa.com and read the IWFA's Beauty Inside & Out e-Booklet and Consumer Guide to Automotive Window Film e-Booklet. And, to find professionally accredited window film installers near you, visit our Find An Installer page.