How does ultraviolet radiation interact with sun protection clothing?
Sun clothing absorbs some of the harmful radiation, and converts it to heat. Most of the rest of the rays are reflected away from the fabric.
Some of the ultraviolet radiation does get through the fabric, and that amount determines the clothing UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor).
Sun clothing with a UPF factor of 50 means that for every 50 units of ultraviolet radiation that falls on the fabric, only one unit, or 2%, gets to the skin.
What are the benefits of sun protection clothing?
UPF, or the ultraviolet protection factor, is a rating used for clothes. Clothes with a UPF rating protect you from ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B radiation.
SPF, or sun protection factor, is a rating based only on ultraviolet B protection, and is used primarily with sunscreen lotions.
Sunscreen lotions and sun clothing may also protect against ultraviolet A, but the protection factor is not figured in to the SPF rating.
How is a SPF rating configured?
You will need to know about how long it takes your unprotected skin to burn in the sun.
The number of minutes it takes for you to start getting a sunburn times the SPF number will give you the amount of time it will take for the protection to wear off.
For example, if it takes 20 minutes for you to get a sunburn, and the SPF rating is 30, you will have 600 minutes, or 10 hours of sun protection.
How does a fabric’s color make a difference?
Darker colors absorb more heat, while lighter colors reflect more heat. A white shirt on a hot day is going to be more comfortable than a black shirt, because the black shirt will absorb more heat.
Do I need to use sunscreen with sun clothing?
For maximum protection, you should use organic sunscreen on your exposed body parts. Sun protective clothing protects the skin that is underneath it, not the exposed hands and face.
What is the most important sun protective clothing?
You should always wear a wide brimmed hat. Baseball style caps will protect your face, but not your ears, the back of your neck, and shoulders.
Straw hats with a wide brim offer little protection because they are loosely woven. You also should always protect your eyes with sunglasses that have a UPF rating.
Don’t assume darker color sunglasses offer more protection, because darker colors absorb more of the sun's rays. Always look for the UPF rating.
If you drive long distances with your arm out the window or even by the window, a long sleeved shirt is essential for sun protection.
Why is sun protective clothing important now?
In the last century, our ozone layer has suffered massive depletion, due to the widespread use of aerosol sprays.
As the ozone became depleted, more ultraviolet radiation has reached the Earth’s surface. Aerosol sprays were banned in most countries, but the ozone layer is not expected to gain full strength back in our lifetimes.
Sun clothing is a way to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays (ultraviolet rays).