Overdrive Magazine

September 2019

Issue link: https://dmtmag.uberflip.com/i/1161251

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26 | Overdrive | September 2019 J oe Jolly started trucking in the early 1980s when the risks of frequent direct exposure to the sun's ultra- violet radiation weren't quite as well understood as they are today. That goes for the risks to drivers, too, though one might assume they largely are protected by being inside a cab. Fact is, though the roof blocks the sun, and glass in general blocks a substantial amount of what's long been thought to be the most dam- aging type of ultraviolet radiation, glass doesn't get it all. Among the give-or-take 2 million skin cancers diagnosed annually in the United States, the Skin Cancer Foundation has noted that well more than half occur on the left side of the body — the side, of course, most exposed to solar radiation behind the wheel. Reporting on a study conducted by St. Louis-based researchers, the foundation noted that 53% of skin cancers in the United States occur on the left side. In the case of the most typically aggressive skin cancer, melanoma, 74% of all occurrences of it that had not yet become invasive were on the left, the study noted. That result sug- gested that glass-penetrating forms of UV radiation could well be the reason. Jolly, of Ft. Scott, Kansas, is today among an unknown number of truckers and former truckers now living with the legacy of a cancer diagnosis. The former trucker drove for nearly three decades stretching WHEN THE SUN BITES BACK Longtime drivers and others urge haulers to guard against skin cancer that commonly comes from excessive left-side exposure BY TODD DILLS George Spears, who had no health problems from sun exposure during his career with Carlile Transportation in Alaska, recalls a fellow driver who had skin grafts to treat skin cancer on his left arm. The driver later died from other causes. Spears starred in one season of "Ice Road Truckers" before retiring in 2009 to his family home in Greenup, Illinois. Max Heine

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