EPA Readies for First 'Don't Fry Day,' Seeks Votes for Sun Safety Poster Contest

The Environmental Protection Agency’s SunWise program invites the public to vote for the winner of the 2009 SunWise with SHADE national sun safety poster contest. The contest is co-sponsored by the SHADE Foundation of America and WeatherBug Schools, and asks children to craft catchy messages to prevent skin cancer. Striking more than 1 million Americans every year, skin cancer accounts for half of all cancer cases in the United States.

"These young people are using their talents to share a valuable, life-saving lesson," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "This is a fun way for them to address very serious concerns about sun safety and long term health hazards."

The annual contest is a collaborative effort to teach children ways to protect their skin and eyes from overexposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation. Since the contest's start seven years ago, more than 80,000 posters have been submitted. Out of the nearly 6,000 posters submitted this year, 37 state winners were selected by a panel of judges.

"Each year, I'm more and more amazed by the creativity in the posters we receive," said Shonda Schilling, Founder and President of the SHADE Foundation. "Because one in five children grows up to develop skin cancer, it’s more important than ever to teach our kids how to be safe in the sun."

EPA's SunWise program is an environmental and health education program that teaches children and their caregivers how to protect themselves from overexposure to the sun. Each state winner is entered into an online voting competition to select the national winner. Online voting is open until May 10, 2009. The winner will be announced in mid-May before the first-ever "Don't Fry Day," a national sun safety awareness day on May 22. For more information on SunWise and vote for your favorite poster, go to www.epa.gov/sunwise/.

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