A couple of UV questions

Hey all- had a couple of questions which cam up and didn’t know the answers so I brought it here:

  1. Do harmful UV rays penetrate glass windows? I said now, bc that is what I thought, but also bc I have eyeglasses that darken in sunlight (presumably due to UV) and they do not darken in a car if the windows are closed, no matter how sunny it is.

  2. Is anyone up to date on the researfch with sunblock and skin cancer? I am under the impression that no studies have shown a difinitive reduction in cancer incidence in those using sunblock versus those who dont. This may be due to the fact that people who use sunblock spend more time in the sun. Any thoughts?

Originally made by Corning in the 60’s but recently made popular by Transitions in the past decade, photochromatic lenses contain a molecule that changes shape when exposed to UV. From the same link we learn that

Which is something any fair-skinned person should know if you have ever driven for a long period of time in direct sun with your arm perched on the edge of the open window. Your arm will become rosy pink but your face will hardly tan at all, even though both your face and arm are just as brightly “lit”.

As for the skin cancer thing, well what can I say. It can be easily proved with simple experiments that sunblock does what it claims to do. The link between UV and tanning/burning is pretty well established. The link between too much tanning/burning and skin cancer is also pretty well established. And yet, since 1981, the incidence of melanoma has increased an average of 7 percent per year to a rate of 14.3 per 100,000 in 1997.

I suspect that people just continue to be lazy and careless or forgetful when it comes to applying sun block. I am a good example. I am fair skinned & blonde, a pretty easy target for skin cancer. But it never seems to fail that half the time I come back from the beach with at least a minor burn somewhere on my body. Sun block washes off, of maybe I miss a spot when applying it.

In other news, in spite of repeated warnings from officials on the dangers of inhaling water, people still continue to drown in large numbers.

That Transitions site is interesting but I meant for the first link to go to HowStuffWorks dot com.