News Stories

The Hidden Danger of Driving

Driving a car can be dangerous?and not just for the reasons you think! Drivers who spend a lot of time in their cars might find themselves developing future skin cancers, especially on the left side of their faces. This is because of cost-cutting measures in automobile design.

Dermatologist Scott Fosko says, "Since previous scientific findings have shown an association between one-sided exposure to ultraviolet light (UV) and an asymmetric facial distribution of sun damage, we would expect that skin cancers also would be more prevalent on the left side of the body in drivers who spend a significant amount of time in their cars. Our initial findings confirm that there is a correlation between more time spent driving and a higher incidence of left-sided skin cancers, especially on sun-exposed areas in men.

"Our initial data shows that those individuals under age 70 who consistently spent the most time per week driving a car were more likely to develop left-sided skin cancers. We're also finding that all drivers who occasionally drive with the windows open had a higher incidence of left-sided skin cancers. Light skin complexion and more driving time also increased the risk for forming skin cancers on the left side. Since there are more cars on the road than ever before, it is likely that this trend will continue. And with more women than ever driving for work and family activities, I wouldn't be surprised if we see higher reports of left-sided skin cancers in women in the future?gradually closing the gender gap that now exists."

The reason for this is that windshields are made of a different type of glass that the rest of an automobile's windows. Typically, an automobile's side and rear windows are made from non-laminated glass that is designed to block UVB rays (the sun?s burning rays), but not the deeper penetrating UVA rays. However, most windshields are made of laminated glass that can filter BOTH UVB and most UVA rays.

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

Maybe someday we'll be able to travel using only our minds, but for now, we need to learn how to stay safe by using every possible means. Can we LEARN HOW to be a psychic? Anne Strieber asks Maureen Caudill that question (and many others) in a fascinating conversation on this week's Dreamland!

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