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July 20, 2013 / molehunter

Soaking up the radiation in Dorset

tanning advert

The above image was snapped outside a tanning salon in Wareham, Dorset last week.

Here are a few anonymous photos taken during a recent trip to the seaside at Dorset, mainly Chesil beach which is popular with mackerel fisherman.

chesil couple

west bex legs

;chesil burnchesil burn boy
Note the severe blistering on this boy’s left upper arm and shoulder. Despite it he is still not covering up on the hottest and brightest day of the year so far. He is seriously increasing his risk of a melanoma by this single episode of self inflicted radiation damage. He has my sympathy, I was just the same at his age. NB fishing in bright sunshine is a great way to get burned, you get so involved with the fishing that you ignore the burn as it grows.

It seems clear that many people will continue to enjoy sun bathing at any opportunity. I don’t want to berate or sneer at people for tanning, I’m in no place to lecture them, being overweight, I’m just pointing out that being aware of risks doesn’t mean we won’t take them if we enjoy something. I didn’t go hunting for these photographs, they were taken at random from the place where I was sitting (fully clothed and wearing a wide brim hat). During the recent heat wave I have seen white people stripping off and tanning/burning everywhere.

It makes sense to advise about sun protection, it should be part of the school curriculum, but even if all people started taking sun protection advice today the skin cancer epidemic would continue to progress due to sun radiation damage already inflicted. Early detection of melanomas is key to preservation of life, education about sun avoidance is good but alone will not succeed. We must educate the public about the early signs of skin cancer and educate doctors and nurses better about picking it up efficiently. That’s the main focus of this blog.

PS I caught a few mackerel from the beach, at dawn and just after sundown! I spent several hours watching dozens of anglers casting away during the full sun, not one caught anything as it was much too bright. The fish have wiser instincts than people, they retreat into the deep water once the sun picks up!!!

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