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UV protective clothing: a practical approach to sun care

UV protective clothing: a practical approach to sun care

The incidence of skin cancer has risen sharply since the 1970s – despite the widespread use of sunscreen – and has become a major public health concern in countries with fair skinned populations and high levels of solar radiation. Ultraviolet (UV) protective clothing represents the most convenient and reliable method of protecting the skin against the harmful effects of the sun and, with this in mind, several companies have been established over the past 20 years with the aim of developing clothing which resists UV radiation while also being lightweight, breathable and stylish. Furthermore, in more recent years, such companies have been joined by established clothing brands which are keen to reach a broader audience of consumers. As a result, today's consumers can choose from a broad range of UV protective garments, including children's wear, fashion wear and workwear. Despite these bright spots, however, the industry faces several challenges – most notably a lack of understanding among consumers about the advantages that UV protective garments offer over conventional clothing or sunscreen. This report provides a wealth of information on the market for UV protective clothing and the fabrics, dyes and additives used in the manufacture of such clothing. The report also discusses the role of clothing in protecting against UV rays, the effects of UV radiation on textiles, methods of protecting against UV radiation, and industry standards for UV protective clothing.


  • SUMMARY
  • INTRODUCTION
  • UV RADIATION AND ITS EFFECTS
    • Solar UV index
      • Table Precautionary measures recommended for various categories of UV radiation risk
    • Effects of UV radiation on human health
    • The link between UV radiation and cancer
    • Effects of UV radiation on textiles
  • PROTECTION AGAINST UV RADIATION
    • The need for protection against UV radiation
    • Sun awareness campaigns
    • Methods of protecting against UV radiation
    • Cultural considerations in UV protection
    • Demand for sun care products
      • Table Global market for sunscreena, 2010-20
      • Table UK: sales of sun care products, 2010-20
  • ROLE OF CLOTHING IN PROTECTION AGAINST UV RAYS
    • Table Ranking of protective measures by their effectiveness in blocking UV
    • UV protective clothing and accessories
    • Role of garment design and fit in protection against UV rays
    • Advantages of UV protective clothing over sunscreen
    • Measuring the penetration of UV radiation through clothing
    • Ultraviolet protection factor
      • Table Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) ratings
      • Table Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) classification
    • UPF Certification Scheme
  • FABRIC PROPERTIES WHICH INFLUENCE UV TRANSMISSION
    • Effect of fabric composition
      • Table Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) ratings of 236 types of summer fabric made from different types of fibres
      • Table Relationship between fibre type and ultraviolet protection factor (UPF)
    • Effect of fabric construction
    • Optical porosity
    • Cover factor
    • Breathability
    • Surface finish
    • Effect of fabric weight
      • Table Relationship between the weight and ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) ratings of selected undyed cotton fabric, Modal fabric and Modal Sun fabric samples
    • Effect of fabric stretch
    • Effect of moisture content
    • Effect of fabric condition
    • Effect of dyes in the fabric
      • Table Relationship between the type, colour and coverage of fabrics and the ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) ratings of various clothing articles
      • Table Ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) ratings for woven cotton and polyester fabrics, by colour
    • Effect of finishing treatments and additives in the fabric
    • Combination of fabric properties which influence protection against UV rays
      • Table Examples of fabric properties which provide excellent protection against UV rays and those which provide poor protection against UV rays
      • Table Examples of fabrics and garments which provide good protection against UV rays and those which provide poor protection against UV rays
  • METHODS OF BOOSTING PROTECTION AGAINST UV RAYS IN CLOTHING
    • Incorporating UV absorbers
    • Incorporating Optical brightening agents
    • Laundering
  • MARKET FOR UV PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
    • Suppliers of UV protective clothing
      • Table Selected key suppliers of UV protective clothing and their products, Jan 2017
  • INDUSTRY STANDARDS FOR UV PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
    • Table Sun protective clothing standards in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Europe
  • CONCLUSIONS

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