From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Slip-Slop-Slap is the iconic and internationally recognised sun protection campaign prominent in Australia during the 1980s. Launched by Cancer Council Victoria in 1981,[1] the Slip! Slop! Slap! campaign features a singing, dancing Sid Seagull encouraging people to reduce sun exposure and protect themselves against an increased risk of skin cancer.[2] Sid had Australians slipping on long sleeved clothing, slopping on sunscreen and slapping on a hat. This successful program was funded by public donations.

The health campaign was extended in later years by the SunSmart to encourage the use of sunglasses and shade. That is:

Slip on a shirt, Slop on the 30+ sunscreen, Slap on a hat, Seek shade or shelter, Slide on some sunnies. - "Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, Slide"

By this stage, however, the skin cancer aware message of the campaign had successfully been absorbed into the Australian psyche.[3]

Slip, Slop, Slap (and Wrap) was also used in New Zealand,[4] where the mascot is a lobster, voiced by Ants from What Now. Some Canadian cities have also started their own Slip-Slop-Slap campaigns.

It was used by the BBC on the "BBC Breakfast Programme 27 June 2011 with Bill Turnbull and Sian Williams.

Effect on cancer rates[edit]

Since this campaign was introduced along with advertisements and a jingle, the incidence of the two most common forms of skin cancer (basal-cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) in Australia has decreased. However, the incidence of melanoma - the most lethal form of skin cancer - has increased.[5] An epidimological study published in 2002 concluded that skin cancer increases could not be associated with the use of sun creams, and recommended continued use of the current campaigns as a means to reduce melanoma risk [6]

The experience of more than 25 years of skin cancer prevention in Australia shows broad-based multifaceted public education programs can have an impact on improving a population's sun protective behaviors and reducing sunburn, a short-term marker of skin cancer risk.[7] Furthermore, declining skin cancer incidence in younger cohorts and economic assessment show skin cancer prevention programs are an eminently worthwhile investment.[7]

The sun's UV radiation is both a major cause of skin cancer and the best natural source of vitamin D. The risk of skin cancer from too much sun exposure needs to be balanced with maintaining adequate vitamin D levels. Vitamin D deficiency has also greatly increased, since sunblock also prevents vitamin D production in the skin.[8] Although sunscreens could almost entirely block the solar induced production of cutaneous previtamin D3 on theoretical grounds or if administered under strictly controlled conditions, in practice they have not been shown to do so.[9] This is mainly due to inadequacies in their application to the skin and because people using sunscreens may also expose themselves to more sun than nonsunscreen users.

Doctors recommend spending small amounts of time in the sun without sun protection when the UV index is below three to ensure adequate production of vitamin D.[10] Sun exposure to help with vitamin D is recommended when UV levels are below three.

When the UV index is greater than 3 (which occurs daily within the tropics and daily during the spring and summer seasons in temperate regions) adequate amounts of vitamin D3 can be made in the skin after only ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure at least two times per week to the face, arms, hands, or back without sunscreen. With longer exposure to UVB rays, an equilibrium is achieved in the skin, and the vitamin simply degrades as fast as it is generated.[11] A study published in 2009 examined the interaction between Vitamin D from dietary and other sources in a cohort of 68,611 men and women did not demonstrate a comprehensive link between Vitamin D deficiency and melanoma risk [12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ Stephen Lunn (7 January 2008). "Sun worshippers need a slap of reality". The Australian. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Outdoor workers shun sun protection". 3 News NZ. April 23, 2013. 
  5. ^ Garland C, Gafrland F, Gorham E (1992). "Could sunscreens increase melanoma risk?". Am J Public Health 82 (4): 614–5. doi:10.2105/AJPH.82.4.614. PMC 1694089. PMID 1546792. 
  6. ^ Bastuji-Garin, S, Diepgen, T.L. (2002). "Cutaneous malignant melanoma, sun exposure, and sunscreen use: epidemiological evidence". British Journal of Dermatology 146 (6): 24–30. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2133.146.s61.9.x. 
  7. ^ a b Hill DJ, Dobbinson SJ, Makin J. Interventions to lower ultraviolet radiation exposure: Education, legislation and public policy. ASCO 2009 Education Book 2009: 526-531.
  8. ^ "Slip, slop, crack: the vitamin D crisis". The Age (Melbourne). 2007-12-09. 
  9. ^ IOM (Institute of Medicine). Dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D. The National Academies Press: Washington, D.C. 2010
  10. ^ "Be sun-smart, avoid bone D-generation risks". The Age (Melbourne). 2007-12-09. 
  11. ^ "Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D". National Institutes of Health. Archived from the original on 2007-09-10. Retrieved 2007-09-10. 
  12. ^ Asgari, M M, Maruti,S,S, Kushi, L, H and White, W (2009). "A Cohort Study of Vitamin D Intake and Melanoma Risk". Am J Public Health 129 (7): 1675–1680. doi:10.1038/jid.2008.451. PMC 2695831. PMID 19194478.