News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Sunsmart farming community still feels the burn

Kiwi farmers outdoors eight hours a day for over ten years

Sunsmart farming community still feels the burn

Auckland, 21st May, 2006 – New independent research shows the New Zealand farming community takes sun protection seriously but long outdoor hours are making sunburn unavoidable. The research commissioned by MoleMap New Zealand shows 84% of farmers spend more than 5 hours a day outside and 56% more than 8 hours a day. It also shows 84% have spent more than 10 years doing outdoor work and 83% have frequently experienced skin peeling after sunburn.

MoleMap General Manager Gavin Foulsham says the research shows farmers are generally aware of the dangers of prolonged sun exposure and are taking action to prevent skin cancer. “Three quarters of farmers regularly wear wide brimmed hats and the vast majority take other steps like applying sunscreen, wearing sunglasses and covering up. Even with this approach the long days and years of sun exposure still make their mark with half having experienced skin cancer personally or through an immediate family member.”

The research indicates the most actively cautious regions are Gisborne, Taranaki and Hawkes Bay where the farmers take a variety of steps to protect themselves. In general women are more likely to protect their skin than men, and higher risk fair skinned people are more active at protecting themselves. Two thirds have checked their skin for changes and one third have been checked by a health professional.

“We have to acknowledge for farming and many other outdoor professions staying away from the sun is just not possible and in general New Zealand farmers are taking practical precautions when they can. Given the high incidence of skin cancer amongst this group we would actively encourage them to check their skin for changes and to get their skin examined by an expert every year,” says Mr Foulsham.

Another interesting result is that older farmers perceive themselves to be at lower risk of melanoma than younger ones, possibly not recognising the cumulative impact of the sun. This may be the result of a younger generation which has grown up with the Sunsmart message.

The research showed a large number of farmers now provide their workforce with covered areas to work in which provide sun protection and a surprising number even provided sunscreen. Federated Farmers President Charlie Pedersen says farmers have recognised the hazards posed by the New Zealand sun for many years.

“Farmers often jokingly call skin cancer an occupational hazard but many of them have seen and experienced the impact it has. New Zealand farms take a responsible attitude to sun exposure and most already document the sun as an occupational hazard and have measures in place to limit its effects.”


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


NZ On Air TV Funding: More Comedy Comes Out Of The Shadows

Paranormal Event Response Unit is a series conceived by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi as a TV spin-off from their highly acclaimed feature film What We Do In The Shadows. More>>


Mars News: Winners Announced For The 2016 Apra Silver Scroll Awards

Wellington singer-songwriter and internationally acclaimed musician Thomas Oliver has won the 2016 APRA Silver Scroll Award with his captivating love song ‘If I Move To Mars’. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Salt River Songs by Sam Hunt

Colin Hogg, a longtime comrade of Sam, writes in his Introduction that, ‘There is a lot of death in this collection of new poems by my friend Sam Hunt. It’s easier to count the poems here that don’t deal with the great destroyer than it is to point to the ones that do.’ More>>

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news