Sun Exposure Knowledge and Practices Survey of Maintenance Squadrons at Travis AFB.

Military medicine

PubMedID: 25562854

Parker G, Williams B, Driggers P. Sun Exposure Knowledge and Practices Survey of Maintenance Squadrons at Travis AFB. Mil Med. 2015;180(1):26-31.
Recent literature has shown that the incidence of melanoma skin cancer is significantly higher in the U.S. military than for civilians and is higher in the U.S. Air Force than other military branches. No studies have investigated military specific exposures that might increase this risk. Using a cross-sectional survey we evaluated sun exposure knowledge and practices of U.S. Air Force flight line workers whose duties may lead to increased melanoma risk. The specific aims of this study were to (1) describe the social demographic characteristics of maintenance personnel, (2) describe current sun blocking practices in maintenance personnel, (3) describe knowledge about sun exposure risks and benefits, and (4) identify factors influencing practices that increase the risk for developing melanoma. Our survey of 356 Air Force flight line personnel showed that 67% of their career required working in direct sunlight, 94.7% of personnel know that it is recommended to use sun blocking methods, yet the majority do not regularly use sun protective measures. Our results suggest that the increased incidence of melanoma in the U.S. Air Force may be due to the type or duration of ultraviolet exposure.