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June 1, 2016

The burn may be beginning to fade by now but not a few New Jerseyans found they had too much sun this past weekend. And although it may get tiring to constantly hear about sunblock, the fact is that the rate of melanoma cases is rising. A recent report by the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2016, New Jersey will see 2,470 new cases of melanoma skin cancer -- up from the 2,250 confirmed cases in 2013.

Over the past 15 years, melanoma incidence has increased substantially in New Jersey, according to the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

The two major risk factors involved in getting melanoma are genetic predisposition and exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) radiation that comes from the sun. The best way to protect yourself is a sunscreen with a high sun protection factor (SPF)

New data from Consumer Reports shows that 43 percent of sunscreen claiming to be SPF 30 --the minimum level recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology -- tested at much lower levels. The report shows that 28 of the 60 lotions tested failed to meet the SPF claim on the label. Consumer Reports says that this isn't an isolated incident. Over a four-year span, researchers found that half of the 104 products tested came in below the SPF number printed on the label, and a third registered below an SPF 30.

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