Car side windows, cataracts and cancer

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A unique impressive commentary re: vision health.

051916When you are considering possible risk factors for cataracts and skin cancer, you probably don’t think about the windows in your car but a new study recently published in the JAMA Ophthalmology suggests that UVA protection in car side windows is not as effective as the UVA protection in the front windshield. As a result, researchers believe this can account for the increased rates of cataracts in left eyes and skin cancer on the left side of the face.

Researchers measured the outside ambient UVA radiation as well as the UVA radiation behind the front windshield and behind the driver’s side window from 29 automobiles from 15 manufacturers and manufactured years between 1990 to 2014 with the average year being 2010. Results showed that the UVA blockage on the car side windows was 71% compared to the 96% of the front windshield. Even more astonishing was the fact that only 4 out of the 29 automobiles had a high level of UVA blockage.

Government regulations do not stipulate that side car windows have to have laminated glass unlike windshields and as a result, the side windows are made using a thin glass. The study researchers are recommending that automobile manufacturers consider increasing the UVA protection for car side windows.*

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