The good news is that sun protective clothing is available to protect us from the dangerous UV rays.
Studies have shown that ozone depletion increases by 4% every 10 years. The ozone layer in our atmosphere is what keeps out the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The more it is depleted, the more UV rays we are exposed to.
Although the aerosol sprays that contributed to ozone depletion are now banned, there is still a fair amount of aerosol in the atmosphere from the sixties and seventies, and the ozone layer is not expected to be repaired for at least a hundred years.
Sun protective clothing are clothes that are specifically designed to protect the skin from ultraviolet rays.
Tightly woven fibers coupled with lighter colored clothing provide maximum comfort. Originally designed for swimwear, clothes designed for sun protection have expanded to include casual and professional clothes.
Each article of sun protective clothing is given a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. The system measures the amount of units of ultra violet radiation it takes to allow for one unit to pass through the clothing.
Anything with a rating under 15 should not be considered to have adequate sun protection, and anything with a UPF factor over 50 should be considered as safe as 50.
A UPF factor of 50 translates into 2% of ultraviolet radiation getting through.
There is a huge market for clothing that offers sun protection. The areas of the globe where the sun’s ultraviolet rays do the most damage are located between the tropic lines.
However, as the earth increases its tilt, (which is what causes the seasons) there is a period of time where some of the northern regions of the globe will get more UV rays than the equator.
As summer draws near in the northern hemisphere, stores are already stocking up on UPF rated clothing.
Virtually every type of clothing is now available in sun protection form. For women there is swimwear, slacks, dresses, hats, skirts, and shirts. For men there is swimwear, shirts and slacks, both casual and formal available.
It is true that in the past, sunscreen was enough protection from ultraviolet rays. But with the depletion of the ozone layer, you will need more than just sunscreen for protection.
While regular clothing does offer some protection, they can tend to be heavier and uncomfortable, or too light and loose for UV protection.
I once mowed my lawn wearing a white t-shirt, and found that I had a sunburn on my back. The ultraviolet rays went right through the shirt!
So if you are going to be out in the hot sun for an extended period of time, wear a wide brimmed hat, and
sun protective clothing . You will be saving yourself from a painful sunburn, and possibly even skin cancer.
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