Dr. Larry Nichter’s Study Highlights Photoprotective Windows and Films for Reducing Skin Cancer Risk

A woman in an office exposed to UV light through the windows

People are exposed to ambient solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation throughout their daily routines, both intentionally and unintentionally. Cumulative and excessive exposure to UV radiation is the primary behavioral cause of skin cancers, skin damage, premature skin aging, and sun-related eye disorders. In the United States alone, more than one million new cases of skin cancer were diagnosed this year.

UV radiation can reach the skin from all directions, as it is diffusely scattered by various environmental and atmospheric conditions. Even when a person is situated under a covering, such as the roof of a car or house, they are not completely protected from the sun’s rays. As shade structures do not effectively protect against UV radiation, there have been significant advancements in the photoprotection of glass through the development of specially designed photoprotective windows and films.

Low-emittance (low-E) coatings, which are microscopically thin, virtually invisible metal or metallic oxide layers deposited on window or skylight glazing surfaces, reduce the U-factor by suppressing radiative heat flow and limiting UV radiation. The exclusive Thermaflect coating utilizes the most advanced, double-layer soft coat technology to deliver top performance for UV protection and prevent heat loss in homes. This product blocks 87% of UV radiation and has an Energy Star certification in all climate zones.

Tints and films have also been an essential advancement in glass photoprotection, particularly in automobiles. High-quality window film products are high-tech laminates of polyester and metallized coatings bonded by distortion-free adhesives. The International Window Film Association provides members with accreditation in solar control films, safety films, and automotive films to increase consumer awareness and demand for professionally installed film window products. The Skin Cancer Foundation has also played a leadership role in certifying window films that limit UV transmission, with the Panorama Designer and Safety Films currently recommended for UV photoprotection.

Given these innovative scientific and industrial advances in window and film photoprotective products, the study recommends their use in all residential, commercial, and school facilities to provide photoprotection and reduce the risk of skin cancer.

To learn about non-invasive and minimally invasive ways to reverse sun damage and rejuvenate your skin, please see our award-winning services, ranked the best in Orange County, California, at BioSpa and Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery. Dr. Nichter and his team are dedicated to helping patients achieve healthier, more youthful-looking skin through the latest advancements in skin care and plastic surgery techniques.


  • Edlich RF, Winters KL, Cox MJ, Becker DG, Horowitz JH, Nichter LS, Britt LD, Long WB, Edlic EC. Use of UV-protective windows and window films to aid in the prevention of skin cancer. J Long Term Eff Med Implants. 2004;14(5):415-30. doi: 10.1615/jlongtermeffmedimplants.v14.i5.70. PMID: 15479155.