A 250-mile ocean paddle relay passed its baton through Malibu in August, involving lifeguards and junior lifeguards from more than 25 agencies. The relay ended this past weekend at El Refugio State Beach in Gaviota, after beginning at Imperial Beach, near the Mexican border, in June.

Malibu’s leg of the relay was paddled by local lifeguards including Damian Minicucci, who paddled from Surfrider to Zuma beaches. 

The paddle relay was held to raise awareness for the John Wayne Cancer Foundation (JWCF) “Block the Blaze” skin cancer education program, according to information shared by the California Surf Lifesaving Association (CSLA). 

“As lifeguards, we spend the majority of our careers in the sun, and we know the dangers of sun exposure,” Bill Humphreys, CSLA president, said in a statement provided by the organization. “The ‘SoCal PaddleDown’ is a great way of raising awareness about the dangers of sun exposure, and the JWCF is providing the next generation of lifeguards the tools and information to prevent and detect skin cancer.”

(1) comment

Marc Sorenson

The most important skin cancer, melanoma, is not caused by non-burning sun exposure. In fact, it it prevented by regular sun exposure. Here are some facts you should know about sun exposure:

Melanoma is not caused by regular, non-burning sun exposure. In fact sun deprivation is the problem. Here are some facts you should know about melanoma:

•In the past four decades sunscreen use has increased by 400%, and melanoma has increased by 400%!

•75% of melanomas occur on areas of the body that are seldom or never exposed to sunlight

•In the U.S., as sun exposure has decreased by about 90% since 1935, melanoma incidence has increased by 3,000%.

•As in the US, while sun exposure in Europe has profoundly decreased, there has been a spectacular increase in melanoma.

•Men who work outdoors have about half the risk of melanoma as men who work indoors.

•Outdoor workers, while receiving 3-9 times the sun exposure as indoor workers, have had no increase in melanoma since before 1940, whereas melanoma incidence in indoor workers has increased steadily and exponentially.

•The advent of sunscreens, along with their steadily increasing use, has not reduced the risk of melanoma.

•Increasing melanoma incidence significantly correlates with decreasing personal annual sunlight doses.

•Outdoor workers do get numerous sunburns but still have a dramatically lower risk of contracting melanoma.

So, since melanoma increases as sun exposure decreases, should we continue to blame the sun?

For more information: sunlightinstitute.org and read Dr. Marc Sorenson’s new book, Embrace the sun.

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