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Good Question: ‘Reply All’ Green Dish-Washing, Sunburn & School Bus Tops

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
Jason DeRusha filed his first report for WCCO-TV on April Fool's D...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – In this week’s Reply All, we look at sunburn, green dish-washing practices and why it is that the tops of some school buses are painted white.

Scott Thaden from Willmar, Minn., said he drives for his job a lot. He asked: Can you get sunburned through a car window?

The windshield of your car is laminated, and filters out UVA and UVB light. However, the windows are not, but they do still filter out UVB light, the usual culprit of sunburn. So it’s unlikely you’ll get burned inside your car with the windows closed.

But windows don’t filter out UVA rays, which penetrate the skin more deeply and also cause harm.

St. Louis University School of Medicine did a study: for the deadliest form of skin cancer, 74 percent of the tumors were found on people’s left sides, compared with 26 percent on the right.

Jennifer from Edina wanted to know: does hand-washing dishes or running the dishwasher use more water?

The average dishwasher uses 6 gallons of water per cycle; the average Energy Star-rated dishwasher uses 4 gallons per cycle.

TreeHugger.com did the calculations.

Faucet flows at 2 gallons per minute: so you get about 4 seconds per dish. Can you successfully wash and rinse a soiled dinner plate in just over a cup of water? Probably not. So load up the dishwasher all the way, then run it.

Devera Gruber, of Crosslake, Minn., noticed something with the school buses and wanted to know: Why do some school buses have white roofs?

It’s been like that in California for 20 years – and for good reason. Just like white roofs keep buildings cooler in the summer, white roofs keep buses much cooler.

Painting the bus tops white drops the interior temperature an average of 10 degrees during the summer, with as much as a 17-degree difference at peak hours. Wintertime temperatures were lower by only 3 to 4 degrees.

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