By this point, everyone knows the potential risks of exposure to UV sunlight in terms of cancer. Sunblock and covering up while going outside during intense sunlight are standard prescriptions. The problem is that many people forget that just because their children are technically inside while in a car, they aren't necessarily completely safe from sunlight. Here are some reasons to be concerned about standard sunlight protection in a car, as well as what you can do about improving it.
Standard Window Protection Isn't Enough
According to some studies, standard auto glass in side windows only block about 37% of ultraviolet, or UVA, radiation. This means that you're only a little more than a third safer from sunlight coming through the left side of your car window while driving than if you were just standing outside.
In fact, this effect is so severe that according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, U.S. patients have a higher risk of getting skin cancer on the left side of their face than on the right due to driving on the left side of the car and receiving light through that window. And since UV radiation accounts for 90 percent of all skin cancers, this is actually a serious concern.
Solving the Problem with Tinted Glass
Windshields actually block around 97% of UVA radiation anyway, so if your concern is reducing skin cancer risk, the key is to get tinted windows for the side windows in order to properly protect you and your children.
There are window tinting technologies out there that can reduce the UVA radiation from side windows by as much as 99%. Children tend to have even more risk of skin cancer from sunlight exposure, so this makes getting properly tinted windows even more important if you plan on leaving your children in the car for any length of time.
It's actually possible to get sunburn through a car window if you stay there long enough, mostly because of the lack of full protection the window gives to UVA rays. And every burn that you get from the sun is an added risk to your children getting skin cancer later on in life.
It's important to make sure that you verify any claims about UVA blocking that a window makes with other sources, but even the Skin Cancer Foundation explicitly recommends using window tinting to help keep you and your family safe.
Many varieties of tint can even allow most visible light through while just blocking the harmful rays. Talk to professionals, such as MidAmerica Tint, to get your windows tinted.