(CBS News) Summer weather is almost in full swing with Memorial Day weekend approaching , which also means it's time to carry that bottle of sunscreen with you to protect against sunburn and skin cancer.
Consumer Reports has issued its 2012 Sunscreen Buying Guide which ranks the "Best Buys" in terms of cost and protection against skin-damaging ultraviolet rays.
Consumer group says sunscreens have improved, but chemical concerns persist
CDC: Skin cancer risks for young adults on the rise, driven by sunburn and indoor tanning
According to the magazine, choosing the wrong sunscreen could leave you and your kids feeling burned. Ultraviolet rays can promote skin cancer in two different ways. It can damage the DNA in skin cells and weakening the body's natural defenses against cancer cells. UVB radiation causes sunburn while UVA rays penetrate deeper, tanning and aging skin - and both have been tied to skin cancer risk.
The advocacy magazine put 18 of the top-selling sunscreens to the test by enlisting volunteers to test protection before and after submerging themselves in water for up to 80 minutes. Researchers also conducted a new "critical wavelength test," that the FDA is now requiring sunscreens to undergo if they claim to be "broad spectrum" and protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Ratings also considered whether sunscreens stained clothing, and how much they cost.
Products ranged from SPF 30 to SPF 75+ and varied in price from a low of $.59 an ounce to a high of $20.59 per ounce. What did the researchers find?
Two products flunked the broad spectrum critical wavelength test despite claiming otherwise on the bottles: Alba Botanical natural very emollient sunblock sport, SPF 45 and Banana Boat Kids tear-free, sting-free, SPF 50+.
New FDA rules on sunscreen labeling that were set to take place in June would require companies to put on a label whether a sunscreen is "broad-spectrum" and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Those rules were delayed until December to give companies more time to comply, HealthPop reported.
Seven products were rated as "very good" against UVA and "excellent" against UVB, even after being dunked in water for 80 minutes, earning them the magazine's "recommended" rating. These products included All Terrain Aqua Sport lotion, SPF 30 ($4 per ounce), Banana Boat clear ultra-mist sports performance active dry protect spray, SPF 30 ($1.63 per ounce), Coppertone sport high performance ultra sweat-proof spray, SPF 30 ($1.67 per ounce), Coppertone oil-free foaming spray, SPF 75+ ($1.67 per ounce), and Eco all natural sunscreen body lotion, SPF 30 ($4.72 per ounce).
Two products were rated as "Best Buys" by Consumer Reports: No-Ad lotion with aloe & vitamin E SPF 45 had a high overall score and at only $.59 per ounce, and Walgreens continuous spray sport SPF 50, coming in at $1.30 per ounce.
No one type of sunscreen protected the best and "price had nothing to do with performance" as La Roche-Posey's $20.59 per ounce Anthelios 40 with Mexoryl sunscreen scored worse than No-Ad lotion's $.59 per ounce product.
Consumer Reports says to stay safe in the sun, people should:
It's the start of what appears to be a wonderful pool season here in the Vegas Valley. As you inspect your pool to see what needs to be done to get ready for the season, you are shocked to see that what was once crystal blue has turned emerald green! But... it's only been a week since you last inspected it... how can this happen? There are a few things that can effect your pool very quickly... Let us help you understand how to see the warning signs of what can become a very smelly, slimy problem.
1. Improper Water Chemistry- Pools require chemicals weekly to keep it sanitized. If you miss a week, or several weeks your pool can turn green quick.
2. Poor Water Circulation - Pools require proper filtration to cause oxidization to kill bacteria. If the filter is dirty, or there is poor circulation in the pool, it will lead to a green pool.
3. Algae Growth - Algae can also develop because of several reasons, including poor maintenance., Over time, your pool surface can start to deteriorate, and as a result, the surfacing will “suck up” additional chemicals and embed algae in the surface.
4. Poor Maintenance – Pools require work each week such as brushing the walls and steps, vacuuming and skimming. If you do not do this on a weekly basis it will lead to larger problems.
5. Pump Does Not Run Long Enough – Surprising enough, this simple step causes more pools to go green quick. During the summer months, it is recommended to run your pool pump 8 hours a day. During the winter months, you can trim it down to 4-6 hours per day.
It's been our experience that the most common problems are homeowners simply do not realize that their pool is the second largest investment on their home. Pools are so much fun, it's your time to share with family and friends, to relax and forget your troubles.
But, skipping regular maintenance could easily turn your pool to a swamp. Remember, as a pool owner there is a decent amount of work each week to maintain the beautiful serenity that you want to enjoy. And, don't beat yourself up- it happens to the best of us!
Common Swimming Pool Myths Dispelled
We've all heard them.... things like.. "Be careful the chlorine will turn your blonde hair green..... " We want to BUST some of those Swimming Pool Myths that are out there. So keep reading, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Myth #1: Chlorine will turn my blond hair green "I spent the day swimming in my friend's pool and now my formerly blond locks (natural, of course) are GREEN! Well the chlorine level must be sky-high for that to have happened!! -
It is not the chlorine in the pool water that is turning your hair green, but the copper! Copper is introduced into your pool either from a 'mineral system' or from certain copper-based algaecides. Chlorine is the most effective algaecide around, so if you maintain proper chlorine levels, you have no need for algaecides anyway.
Myth #2: Chlorine pools smell bad
Yes, as your Pool Butler, I agree chlorine pools smell awful! But, a properly maintained chlorine pool has virtually no smell at all. The "chlorine odor" actually comes from combined chloramines (CCs). CCs are formed as the free chlorine is 'used up' by organics in the water. If you are only testing for 'total chlorine' you may think your chlorine levels are fine. But CCs are no good at sanitizing your water, and in fact you need to get rid of them. The sun also burns them off, but you need to bring your water up to shock level and hold it there until you have 0ppm CCs.
Myth #3: Rashes, swimmer's ear, and red stinging eyes are caused by high levels of chlorine
Rashes and swimmer's ear are usually caused by bacteria. Many times the rashes develop under the bathing suit, where the environment is warm and damp. Same thing for swimmer's ear. The bacteria get into the ear, water is trapped with it, and the bacteria thrive. To help prevent rashes, rinse promptly after getting out of the pool. You can use commercial drops, or drops made from one part alcohol and one part vinegar before and after swimming to help prevent swimmer's ear. You also need to shock your pool to kill the bacteria and maintain a safe, sanitary environment. As for those beautiful eyes- red stinging eyes are caused either from improper pH or high CC levels. You can clear it up, by simply shocking your water.
Myth #4: "My electric bill will significantly go up if I own a pool."
Utility bills vary depending on where you live and who your provider is, but average estimates show that utility bills only increase between $30 and $50 each month. But that's nothing when compared to the money you'd otherwise spend on entertainment- We will heat our pool for a weekend in the winter and it's cheaper then taking our three kids to dinner and a movie. One way to spread they cost, is to get on equal pay, this will eliminate any "shock" that you have from a high electric bill. Plus you're in Vegas- the land of $500 electric bills in the summer time so you can stay cool in your A.C. Contact the electric company... I promise you will save money!
Myth #5: Wait an hour after eating to get in the swimming pool, or you'll get a cramp and die
The smell of the BBQ, the juicy hamburgers, and refreshing watermelon..... It's so hard to wait when the water is calling your name! So could you REALLY die from swimming too soon after eating that PB&J? Not likely. As your food is digesting, more blood goes to the stomach and other digestive organs to speed the process along. This means there is less blood for your muscles. If you are using your muscles more than your body can handle, you can get a cramp. However, if you eat a sensible meal, and take it easy for a while after returning to the water, even the risk of a cramp is very low. Now, if you consume everything at your favorite Casino Buffet and immediately start the swimming leg of a triathlon, then perhaps could have a different result!
Myth#8: To drain and refill my pool is going to cost a fortune!: Not true! You can call the water company and they will estimate the cost for you. Simply tell them the size of your pull and they will give you an estimate on the cost. You will be surprised. We ave a 7,000 gallon pool- it cost us $25.00 pretty minimal. In order for your pool to properly maintain chemical levels, your pool should be drained and refilled with fresh water every 3 years.
This covers just a few on the common myths we see as pool owners. Before you assume something to be fact, be sure to do a little research and find out for yourself.