Dangers of the Sun for Farmers

Be SunSmart when farming on a sunny day

Summer is here but unfortunately long days outside in the heat can be a serious hazard if one is not careful.  One of the more serious dangers of sun exposure is skin cancer. 

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Ireland, with over 13,000 new cases diagnosed every year. The National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI) expects this number to double by 2040.  Nine out of every ten cases are caused by UV rays from the sun or sunbeds.

Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of skin colour, when exposed for long hours to the sun rays.  This has serious implications for farmers and others who spend much of their working hours outdoors.

We all need to be SunSmart in order to reduce our risk of skin cancer. The damage starts the minute we are exposed to UV rays.

So, in order to be smart in the sun you should:
  • Cover up when there’s no shade around.
  • Wear loose clothing and a cool, wide-brimmed hat
  • Seek shade! It is really important to do this from 11-3pm when UV levels are at their strongest.
  • Wear sunglasses. Whether you are young or old make sure to get sunglasses that give UV protection.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF of 30 and UVA protection. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply every two hours!


To learn more how to protect yourself when out in the sun,
please read the article by
Frances Bligh – Teagasc Health & Safety Specialist
in this link.

Be SunSmart when Farming