Even the strongest cosmetic sunblock offers a maximum Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50. What’s more, for long-lasting protection, it must be applied several times and used correctly: 30 minutes before sun exposure and reapplied after being washed or rubbed off.
In comparison, clothing and shading textiles are ideal for practical UV protection. Depending on the design, textiles can achieve an ultraviolet protection factor of up to UPF 80, meaning the user stays protected for up to 80 times longer than intrinsic protection allows (dependent on skin type).
Textile UV protection can be maximized with the right materials and construction. We must also consider usage, as UPF can change significantly with stretching of the garment on the body or aging of the shade, for example.
There is a direct link between exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radation and skin cancer.
- Children and young people (especially under age 15)
- People frequently working or active outdoors
- Elderly or sick people
- Repeated or prolonged sun exposure
- Current UV Index (UVI): higher number = higher risk
- Midday exposure - when is generally strongest
- Particular environments, e.g. in or on water, on snow, between mountains
Factor calculation considers the solar spectrum, typical skin reddening, etc., not just the pure measurements.
- Australia-New Zealand (AS/NZS 4399): new, unstretched and dry textiles under the Melbourne, Australia solar spectrum on January 1st
- European (DIN EN 13758-1): new, unstretched and dry textiles under the Albuquerque, New Mexico solar spectrum
- American (AATCC TM 183): textiles in new condition under the Albuquerque, New Mexico solar spectrum
For the UV STANDARD 801, we consider important aspects of use, including stretching of the textile, wetting of clothing, weathering of shading textiles, aging by certain abrasion and washing cycles and many more. We also assume maximum radiation intensity with the solar spectrum in Melbourne, Australia on January 1st (peak of the Australian summer).
Consumers cannot judge a product's effectiveness against UV rays by sight or touch. Based on standardized measurement procedures and neutral testing, we assign comparable and reliable values for the UV protection of garments or shades. We also offer certifications and product labels based on international standards.
In addition to consumer safety and claim verification, Hohenstein tests the UPF for product and material optimization during development.
Standard or customized testing can be used to consider all situations (e.g. industrial laundering, washing procedures for shades, PPE, body coverage requiremnets, pre-treatments, etc).
Skin is also damaged by artificial UV radiation. To specify the UV protection factor of protective clothing for welders, for example, we calculate the UV transmission for personal protective equipment, which can then be used to determine the maximum usage duration of the textiles in the respective welding process.