happy woman driver driving her car

The summer is getting hotter and days are becoming unbearable. We do all kinds of things to protect our body from this heat. We eat and drink according to the weather. In the summer UV rays damages the human skin and eyes the most; even those who are traveling by their car are risking their skin and eyes.

According to a new study, the car’s front windshield may protect you from the dangerous UV rays as you travel but the windows don’t do the same.

Experts have long known that extended exposure to ultraviolet A (UV-A) rays can increase the risk of skin cancer and cataracts.

People around the world, drive for long hours to reach their destination every day. This made one researcher from California curious and made him determine how much sun protection a car can offer.

Effect of UV rays on human body

To determine the UV rays effects on the human body while driving, Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, of the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute in Beverly Hills, examined the ultraviolet protection given by the glass in 29 cars from 15 various automobile manufacturing companies.

Boxer Wachler studied levels of ambient UV-A radiation behind the front windshield of the car and also behind the driver’s side window. The cars being used in the study were produced between the years of 1990 and 2014.

While windshield windows inclined to offer better protection against UV-A, but the safety was found to be lower and inconsistent for the side windows of the cars.

Windows of your car do not protect your skin and eyes from dangerous UV rays2

The study noted that front windshields successfully blocked an average of 96 percent of UV-A rays while the side windows were capable of blocking the rays to only 71 percent.

The research concluded that the overall success ratio of blocking the UV-A rays from the side windows of the cars was only 14 percent.

Boxer Wachler said that this could add the danger of developing left eye cataracts and skin cancer on the left side of people’s faces. He said, considering new data, “Automakers may wish to consider increasing the degree of UV-A protection in the side windows of automobiles.”

Dr. Doris Day said that UV-A rays can be especially harmful to the skin.

Dr. Doris, a dermatologist and skin cancer expert at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City said, “The World Health Organization has designated all wavelengths of ultraviolet radiation as known carcinogens.”

She added, “While UV-B is a shorter wavelength of light and is blocked by glass, UV-A is longer and goes deeper into the skin — causing both skin cancer and premature aging as it breaks down collagen.”

She further explained, “UV-A also goes through glass, making it a potential issue for those who have daily commutes or spend extended periods in the car.”

What to do to protect skin and eyes?

Windows of your car do not protect your skin and eyes from dangerous UV rays3

Dr. Day suggested that people should apply the sunscreen properly. Sunscreen needs to be applied often during traveling as it protects against both UV-A and UV-B rays. She added that drivers should buy special window tint products which can block 99 percent of UV rays.

She said, “This is a great option for those who have older cars or cars that don’t have the protection already built in.”

The study was published online May 12 in JAMA Ophthalmology.