Fw: Cancer, ozone layer

DMS dmschanoes at earthlink.net
Thu Aug 14 05:28:53 MDT 2003

Forwarded from Nestor G.:

Dear David,

You may repost if you wish. As for me, it is a private mail.
Although we agree on the dangers of global warming, rising rates
of skin cancer are not necessarily an indication thereof. Nor
are the -still unestablished- links between the depletion of the
ozone layer to global warming and, less still (yes, please read
below), to increased incidence of skin cancers.

Skin cancer, as a whole, has increased with further exposition
of white skins to sunlight. This is a trend that dates back to
1945 or earlier (research on these issues was made in Australia,
probably the best testing ground due to both active sunbathing
and a strongly white skinned population under tropical and
subtropical conditions).  The increase in skin cancer bears
strong relations with changes in the accessibility to ocean
beaches,with impositions from the advertising/show businesses
(tan and be healthy,etc.)  and thus with "socially enforced"
seaside bathing to large amounts of white skinned people.

There is a heavy burden of guilt on the whole cosmetics industry
for the increased rates of skin cancer. The main point is that
it has little if anything to do with the depletion of
the ozone layer. We should not risk a loss of credibility as
defenders of mistaken notions.

Depletion of the ozone layer has never had a significant effect
beyond the 50 degrees South (please refer to a map in order to
realize that (a) this implies that _almost no human beings_, but
for some Argentineans and Chileans, live that far South, and
(b) the effect of UV radiation increase at those latitudes is
clearly offset by heavy clothing necessary to live there).
I am not denying global warming. I am not denying that the
depletion of the ozone layer can become an ominous sign, or it
already is an ominous sign. I am only stating that we cannot
seriously link any increase in skin cancer to the depletion.



Although not generally known for agreeing with Nestor, or anyone
for that matter, I think Nestor has hit on an extremely crucial
element, and this is the social forces, economic motives,
historical development of sunbathing as an index to "social
status" and a source of profits.

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