PREVENT   EYE    . *
            Protect Yourself  from
            UV  Radiation
        ost Americans
        understand the link
        between ultraviolet
(UV) radiation and skin
cancer. Many are less
aware of the connection
between UV radiation and
eye damage. With increased
levels of UV radiation
reaching the Earth's surface,
largely due to stratospheric
ozone layer depletion, it is
important to take the
necessary precautions to
protect your  eyes from
being damaged.
Potential  Effects  of UV Radiation

on Eyes

UV radiation, whether from natural sunlight or artificial UV rays, can
damage the eye, affecting surface tissues and internal structures, such
as the cornea and lens.

Long-term exposure to UV radiation can lead to cataracts, skin cancer
around the eyelids, and other eye disorders.

In the short-term, excessive exposure to UV radiation from daily
activities, including reflections off of snow, pavement, and other
surfaces, can burn the front surface of the eye, similar to a sunburn
on the skin.

The cumulative effects of spending long hours in the sun without
adequate eye protection can increase the likelihood of developing the
following eye disorders:

   Cataracts: A clouding of the eye's lens that can blur vision.

   Snow Blindness  (Photokeratitis): A day at the beach without
   sunglasses; reflections off of snow, water, or concrete; or exposure
   to artificial light sources such as tanning beds, can cause a
     temporary but painful burn to the cornea of the eye.

     #  Pterygium: An abnormal, but usually non-cancerous,
        growth in the corner of the eye. It can grow over the
        cornea, partially blocking vision, and may require surgery
        to be removed.

     #  Skin Cancer around the Eyelids: Basal cell carcinoma is the
        most common type of skin cancer to affect the eyelids. In
        most cases, lesions occur on the lower lid, but they can
        occur anywhere on the eyelids, in the corners of the eye,
        under the eyebrows, and on  adjacent areas of the face.


  EPA's  SunWise  Program:
  Educating Youth  About
  Sun  Safety

  The SunWise Program is an environmental
  and health education program that aims to
  teach people how to protect themselves from
  overexposure to the sun. The school element of
  the program uses classroom, school, and
  community components to develop sustained
  sun-safe behaviors in children. Additional
  partnerships with local broadcast meteorologists,
  science centers, children's museums, and
  health experts provide numerous opportunities
  to deliver the SunWise
  message to youth,
  their care givers, and
  the general public. For
  more information about
  SunWise and how you can  K
  participate, please visit
  .    ^j
Did You  Know....
#  20.5 million Americans have cataracts.
#  The economic costs of visual disorders and
   disabilities in the United States in 2003 was
   estimated to be $68 billion.
Source: National Eye Institute, U.S. National Institutes of

Preventative Measures for
Eye  Protection
Protect your eyes from UV exposure by wearing
sunglasses that properly block UV-A and UV-B rays.
Sunglasses should block 99-100 percent of UV-A
and UV-B from reaching your eyes, so look for
manufacturer labels that indicate UV protective
Office of Air rtnd Radiation (6205J)
                     lenses. Wrap-around sunglasses are preferable
                     because they keep UV rays from reaching the eyes.
                     Additionally, a wide-brimmed hat offers some degree
                     of eye protection, blocking UV rays from entering the
                     eyes from the sides or above the sunglasses.

                     Frequently Asked  Questions

                     Q: Does my eye color or skin color affect my risk for
                       eye damage from UV radiation?

                     A: No. All people, regardless of their eye or skin color,
                       are susceptible to eye damage from UV radiation.

                     Q: What should I look for when choosing a pair of

                     A: No matter what sunglass styles or options you
                       choose, you should insist that your sunglasses:

                       *  Block out 99-100 percent of both UV-A and
                          UV-B radiation.
                       #  Are perfectly matched in color and are free of
                          distortion and imperfection.

                     Q: Do I have to buy expensive sunglasses to ensure
                       that I am being protected from UV radiation?

                     A: As long as the label says that the glasses provide
                       UV-A and UV-B protection, price should not be a
                       deciding factor.

                     For more information contact:

                     The American Optometric Association

                     The American Academy of Opthalmology

                     The National Eye Institute
EPA430-F-0 > 052
December 2004
                        Exposure to UV radiation has cumulative
                        effects on the eyes, with damage
                        today leading to eye problei
                        PROTECT YOUR EYES
                        AND  SIGHT...
                         FEAR SUNGLASS