Individuals who work outside are at increased risk for skin cancer due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Little is known about UV exposures and sun safety practices of outdoor day laborers, who are disproportionately Hispanic. This study identified the correlates of sunburn and sun protection behaviors in a sample of male, Hispanic day laborers (n = 175). More than half of the participants (54.9%) experienced one or more sunburns when working during the past summer, and 62.9% reported having one or more symptoms of heat illness. The frequency of engaging in sun protection behaviors was suboptimal, including sunglasses use (M = 2.68, SD = 1.71), staying in the shade (M = 2.30, SD = 0.94), wearing sunscreen (M = 2.10, SD = 1.39), and wearing a wide-brimmed hat (M = 1.75, SD = 1.32), based on a 5-point scale (1 = never; 5 = always). Lower education level, higher levels of skin sensitivity to the sun, any symptom of heat illness, fewer barriers to wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and not wearing a wide-brimmed hat were associated with a greater number of sunburns. Factors associated with each sun protection behavior varied. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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Published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, v. 19, issue 5, 2524.

© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

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This work was supported by Johnson & Johnson through a grant from the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey Foundation and National Cancer Institute (grant number: P30CA072720).

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The de-identified datasets analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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