Is Your Factory Car Tint Putting You at Risk for Skin Cancer?

For most people, preventing sun exposure means slathering on sunscreen and wearing a hat and sunglasses when heading outdoors. But millions of Americans are exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays every day in their cars—usually without wearing sunscreen. In fact, nearly 53 percent of skin cancers in the US occur on the left, or drivers’ side of the body, according to a study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The good news: Window tint film is an excellent way to get UV protection and lower your risk of skin cancer.

The bad news: Not every window tint does the job.  Unfortunately, many factory car tints are inadequate for UV protection. Read on to find why your factory car tint may be putting you at risk for skin cancer.

The limits of “privacy glass”

When you see a new car with tinted glass on a dealership lot, chances are it’s factory smoked glass, otherwise known as “privacy glass.” It’s important to understand that smoked glass is completely cosmetic—it’s just a color treatment, with no additional protective properties. High quality window film, on the other hand, is engineered to specifically block UV rays while providing all the privacy benefits of smoked glass.

The sun-blocking powers of car window tint

Sunlight can be broken down into three main parts: visible light, solar heat, and the harmful UV rays that cause sunburn and skin cancer. These UV rays are also responsible for accelerating the development of wrinkles, spots, and other sun damage on exposed skin. The effect is striking in photos of longtime truck drivers, where the left side of their face—closest to the driver window—looks significantly older than the right side.

While light, solar heat, and UV rays penetrate through privacy glass, car window film can block up to 80% of solar heat and 99.9% of UV rays, regardless of how dark the tint is. In fact, window tint is so effective in reducing your risk of skin cancer that it’s on the American Cancer Society’s list of prevention recommendations.

Protection in any shade

Some people like the slick look of dark window film, but if dark tint isn’t your style—or if you want to maintain perfect visibility for night driving—you can still enjoy all the health benefits of window tinting with lightly shaded or even crystal clear window tint. Clear tints offer the same superior UV protection as medium and darker tints, with the added benefit of adhering to all state window tinting laws.

Protect your health with car window tint

The sun can do a lot of damage to your skin, health, and overall appearance—but you can protect yourself and your passengers. At Audio Shack, our window tint experts can answer all your questions about the benefits of tinted film and help you choose the right product for your needs and budget. We also offer professional installation to ensure the job gets done right. Give us a call at (619) 749-5750 or stop by and see us in El Cajon today.