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August 11, 1956


JAMA. 1956;161(15):1480-1483. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970150048011

WAYS AND MEANS TO SAFE SUNBATHING  The response of the normal skin to a single exposure to the sunlight and the consequences to the normal skin of continued excessive exposures over a period of years are well recognized. It is on the basis of these observations that advice has been formulated to guide the major portion of the American population whose exposures to the sun range between these two extremes.

Chronic Exposure to the Sun  The threat of malignancy is not a concern of the occasional sunbather, but the evidence is clear that chronic exposure to sunlight can be one of the major factors in the production of precancerous and cancerous conditions of the skin. This is as pertinent to the health of the ardent outdoor sportsman and sun enthusiast as it is to the farmer, the sailor, the sheep-herder, or the cowboy, who follow vocations in which chronic solar exposure has long been recognized as an occupational hazard.1 All individuals engaged in year-round outdoor pastimes as well as occupations should be urged to adopt protective measures. Most warnings should be directed toward the sandy-haired, light-complexioned, blue-eyed person, for the dark-haired,