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Protection against ultraviolet radiation by commercial summer clothing: need for standardised testing and labelling

Authors
Publisher
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Source
PMC
Keywords
  • Research Article
Disciplines
  • Education
  • Physics

Abstract

1471-5945-1-6.fm ral BioMed CentBMC Dermatology BMC Dermatology 2001, 1 :6Research article Protection against ultraviolet radiation by commercial summer clothing: need for standardised testing and labelling Thilo Gambichler*, Sebastian Rotterdam, Peter Altmeyer and Klaus Hoffmann Address: Department of Dermatology, Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany E-mail: Thilo Gambichler* - [email protected]; Sebastian Rotterdam - [email protected]; Peter Altmeyer - [email protected]; Klaus Hoffmann - [email protected] *Corresponding author Abstract Background: The use of clothing as a means of sun protection has been recommended in recent education campaigns. Contrary to popular opinion, however, some fabrics provide insufficient ultraviolet (UV) protection. Material and methods: We investigated 236 apparel textiles of the spring/summer collections 2000 and 2001. In accordance with the forthcoming European standard the UV protection factor (UPF) of the fabrics was determined spectrophotometrically. Results: Seventy-eight (33%) fabrics had UPF < 15, 45 (19%) had UPF = or > 15 and < 30, and 113 (48%) had UPF = or > 30 (30+). More than 70% of the wool, polyester, and fabric blends, and only less than 30% of the cotton, linen, and viscose fabrics had UPF values of 30+. Fabrics with black, navy-blue, white, green, or beige colours provided most frequently UPF values of 30+. Conclusions: It is difficult for the sun-aware consumer to choose the 'right' garment, with a third of summer clothing providing insufficient UV protection and only half of the fabrics having UPF 30+, the UPF recommended by the European standard. Therefore, apparel summer fabrics should be measured and labelled in accordance with a standard document. Background The incidence of skin cancer has been increasing at an alarming rate over the past several decades. While there are many factors involved in the onset of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, overexposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) h

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