Farm Ireland

Monday 18 June 2018

'Farmer tan' warning over skin cancer risk

A record crowd descended on the Ploughing yesterday
A record crowd descended on the Ploughing yesterday
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

Farmers are being urged to take extra precautions against skin cancer as 'farmers' tan' could have fatal consequences.

The Irish Skin Foundation warned that farmers receive five to 10 times more UV exposure than indoor workers.

Overexposure to UV radiation can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage as well as skin cancer.

At the launch of the Ploughing Championships, the foundation said that farmers should take precautions such as wearing suncream every day, wearing protective clothing at all times and wearing a hat.

John O'Neill (80) from Malin Head has been working as a farmer all of his life.

"I know about taking precautions. I've listened to advice and I've read many articles about it. When I go onto the farm I take precautions like wearing a hat. I'd seldom ever undress to my waist.

"I do get the farmers' tan on my arms. I don't think it's dangerous because you get used to that (but) ... you see a lot of farmers have little moles on their bodies. That's when it gets dangerous."

Mr O'Neill said he also relies on his wife to remind him to slap on the suncream before he goes out to work in the fields.

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