Volume 18, Issue 5 - September/October 2014

The Latest Industry News
edited by Casey Flores


Surgeon General Issues Skin Cancer Warning, Tint Shops Respond

For the first time ever, the United States Surgeon General has warned publicly against ultraviolet (UV) radiation in his report, “Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer.”

“We’ve seen increases [in melanoma cases] — almost tripling over the last 30 years … we need to do something about it,” said dermatologist and acting surgeon general Boris D. Lushniak in an interview with The Washington Post.

“I’ve seen patients with a variety of skin cancers, including people who have died from skin cancer. And it brings to the forefront the facts about melanoma: It’s the deadliest form of skin cancer. Each year we have 63,000-plus cases diagnosed, nearly 9,000 people die. That’s one person every single hour that’s dying from melanoma,” Lushniak said.

While the 100 page report makes no mention of window film specifically, it did recommend that businesses employing drivers or workers who “encounter substantial UV exposure through windows” consider “sun protection policies [that can] include the provision of equipment or modifications to glass in windows.”

According to Arbitron’s 2009 National In-Car Study, Americans spend nearly 20 hours in their cars per week and travel more than 200 miles, much of which is during the daytime, when the UV rays can penetrate windows and cause damage to skin.

The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that drivers in the U.S. receive six times the dose of UV radiation on the left side of the head, neck, arm and hand as the right side. They suggest tinting one’s windows, noting that “some films, when applied to car windows, can block 99.9 percent of UV rays.”

The foundation also recommends tinting residential windows.

“If the sun has faded the color of your sofa, it can just as easily damage your skin when you sit there,” says Perry Robins, MD,
president of the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Tint shops are using this as an opportunity to educate customers about melanoma and the benefits of window film.

“[The surgeon general’s report] can really help us … We’re getting more and more people being referred by dermatologists for UV protection,” says George Sanchez, manager of Tint & Detail Shop in Rockville, Md. “People are getting more educated and they’re coming in not necessarily for the look or for the privacy, but they just want to protect their skin … if you go to the beach for two hours and you’re using sun protection … but if you drive for two hours, you don’t even think about it but you’re getting the same sun exposure … if you use great film, it’s basically like wearing 1,000 SPF lotion on you,” he says.

Bill Valway, CEO of Absolute Perfection Window Tinting & Graphics, says that while people are becoming more educated “there is still a tremendous lack of awareness.” He explains that while dermatologists in his area recommend window tinting, “they [don’t] have anyone to [refer].”

Sanchez and his shop are trying to change that.

“I’m going to … use it as an opportunity to educate. [We will either] go in and talk to or write something up and drop it off to the dermatologists … so they will be able to refer people,” he says.

Valway is hoping for more than just referrals. “It’d almost be amazing if they could make a prescription for it. That would be fantastic.”

Tint Shop Offers Free Window
Tint for Skin Cancer Patients

A tint shop owner in the Inland Empire area of California is doing his best to make life easier for people with skin cancer.

Arturo Ceballos, owner of Tint City and Black Diamond Wheels and Tint, is offering anyone diagnosed with melanoma or other skin cancers a complete auto window tint, typically a $150 job, for no cost.
It is part of his Tint City Skin Cancer Program, aimed at not only keeping people healthy, but also putting their “mind at ease,” according to his website.

Unbeknownst to him, his daughter Marissa reached out to Window Film magazine, proud of her dad’s charity.
“He’s not the type to show off or anything. He really does this from his heart … he doesn’t ask for anything in return,” she says.

One of the shops is located next to a hospital. Marissa says it is not uncommon for people to leave the hospital after being diagnosed with skin cancer to come directly to her dad’s shop to get their windows tinted.

“A lot of [people] would come and want something done but they couldn’t afford it so he just wanted to start helping them out,” she says.

Though Tint City advertises the program on its website, Marissa says many people who come into the store with skin cancer do not know about it. “They’ll come thinking they’re going to pay all this money to get a tint job then we’ll apply it for them at no cost.”

Marissa says her dad started the program in 2012 and has since tinted around 200 cars for people with skin cancer with plans for many more in the future.

“I know he doesn’t have any desire to stop anytime soon,” she says.

Community College Launches Film Manufacturing Certification

Eastman Chemical Company and Commonwealth Laminating and Coating Inc. have announced a unique educational partnership with Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) to create a new “Advanced Film Certification” in Martinsville, Va.

According to the program’s website, the 28-credit certification will prepare students for a career in advanced film manufacturing and related industries in an area that produces more than 30 percent of the world’s coated and dyed film.

Lisa Lyle of the Martinsville Economic Development Corp. says this program will ensure that Martinsville’s largest employers “will have a skilled workforce and the ability to expand their business.”

According to Lyle, the Martinsville location employs approximately 500 workers and Eastman is projected to invest $40 million there over the next three years “if they can secure more job-ready workers needed to achieve their growth and make these investments.”

Charles Fraley, human resource manager at Eastman, sees the training program as vital to the company’s ability to exist.

“We see a demographic shift in our workforce with baby boomers retiring. New generations of workers don’t have the skills to fill the gap,” he says.

So Eastman approached PHCC and other community stakeholders to outline their current and future workforce needs, says Rhonda Hodges, dean of workforce development and continuing education.

“PHCC was prepared to respond quickly to this need because of our innovative programming model. We typically begin new program development by [allowing] employers [to] outline their workforce needs and skill gaps. [Then we engage the] employers in developing the curriculum to meet these needs. We were very encouraged that Eastman approached us and with their ongoing level of engagement and support,” Hodges says.

In order to encourage participation in the program, “Eastman [will be] supporting scholarships through the partnership and students interested should work with the community college financial aid office,” says Pat Caldarera, site manager at Eastman Martinsville.

Hodges sees the program being beneficial to the Martinsville region.

“Hopes are high for this program! We believe this program will be beneficial to our existing industries by helping them acquire the skilled workforce they need to meet current demands and future expansions. It is also a wonderful opportunity for our students to begin a rewarding career pathway in a growing and exciting industry sector,” she says.

And careers are what the area needs. In a state with a 5.3 percent unemployment rate, Martinsville, Va. has an unemployment rate of 10.8 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Caldarera says, “Applicants who have graduated from the program [will be] guaranteed an interview with Eastman, and if hired, [they] can expect a highly competitive starting wage with a staged progression over a four-year period.”

The program began August 26. More information can be found at www.advancedfilm.org.


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