Sublimated Clothing & Sun Protection
There is nothing better than a day in the great outdoors and we are all aware it comes with risks. Skin cancer, unfortunately, is the end result of too much UV Radiation from the sun for many people.
How do we protect ourselves against UV radiation? We Slip on a shirt, Slop on some sunscreen and Slap on a hat. The SLIP, SLOP, SLAP campaign was enormously successful in Australia and educated many people to be smarter when enjoying the outdoors.
However when it comes to clothing is any shirt acceptable to slip on and be protected?
Is the shirt you’re wearing protecting you from harmful UV rays?
How do I work out what is good protection and what is not?
Clothing that is designed and sold advertising sun protection should have a UPF rating, UPF stands for “Ultraviolet Protection Factor”. The label means the fabric has been tested in a laboratory and consumers can be confident about the listed level of protection. It is based on the content, weight, color, and construction of the fabric, and indicates how much UV can penetrate the fabric.
The higher the rating the more protection the clothing will have against the harmful UV rays passing through the clothing.
As an example material that has a UFP rating of 20 allows 1/20th (5%) of UV radiation falling on its surface to pass through the clothing. This means 95% of the UV radiation is blocked from reaching your skin.
Material with a UPF of 50 allows just 1/50th of UV radiation falling on its surface to pass through the clothing. This means over 97% the sun’s UV radiation is blocked from reaching your skin.
Any garment whose material has a UFP rating of above 15 is classified as giving good protection. So even though the numbers may sound dramatical more or less, anything over 15 is a pretty good rating.
What are some warning signs that your Clothing may not be tested or have a Poor Rating?
If the garment is stating to have a “sun protection factor” or “SPF rating” then there is every need to be suspicious. “SPF” ratings are designed for sunscreens and the labelling if used on clothing is incorrect. It’s almost guaranteed that the clothing item has not gone through the correct process of having the material tested or licenses to be able to advertise an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF).
If you come across this SPF factor on clothing you can request to see the test results. All UPF tested clothing comes with a test result certificate.
Also damaged or overstretched clothing such as an old shirt almost definitely has a decreased UPF rating, even if it originally had a good rating. The UPF is given when the shirt is in it’s prime. So if you have an old or damaged shirt, if best not to wear it in the sun.
Extra Handy Hints to keep in mind before heading outside.
Buy garments that suit your purpose. You don’t need a heavy material shirt for good UV protection if you’re off to the beach or fishing. Look for clothing items that have UPF Label (as pictured above, this ensures that the clothing has been tested by an independent organization.
If you are buying elastic garments like leggings, make sure you purchase the correct size as overstretching will lower the UPF rating.
Don’t forget to wear a wide-brimmed hat, slop on the sunscreen, where UV filtering sunglasses and seek shade where you can to ensure the best possible protection because clothing can’t cover everything
Sun protection is required when the UV levels are above 3.
If you follow these steps you are on the road to having a fantastic time this summer without having to worry about damaging your skin.
Enjoy your time in the sun! – Spida Sports