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Am J Public Health. 2018 Dec;108(12):1607-1612. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2018.304700. Epub 2018 Oct 25.

Shade as an Environmental Design Tool for Skin Cancer Prevention.

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Dawn M. Holman, Meredith Shoemaker, and Meg Watson are with the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. George Thomas Kapelos is with the Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University, Toronto Ontario, Canada.


Little work has been done to explore the use of shade for skin cancer prevention in the context of the built environment. In an effort to address this gap and draw attention to the intersection between architectural and public health practice, we reviewed research on shade design, use, and policies published from January 1, 1996, through December 31, 2017. Our findings indicate that various features influence the sun-protective effects of shade, including the materials, size, shape, and position of the shade structure; the characteristics of the surrounding area; and weather conditions. Limited research suggests that shade provision in outdoor spaces may increase shade use. Shade audit and design tools are available to inform shade planning efforts. Shade policies to date have mostly been setting specific, and information on the implementation and effects of such policies is limited. Integrating shade planning into community design, planning, and architecture may have a substantial impact and will require a multidisciplinary approach.

[Available on 2019-12-01]

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