A comprehensive approach to evaluating and classifying sun-protective clothing

Downs, N. J. and Harrison, S. L. (2018) A comprehensive approach to evaluating and classifying sun-protective clothing. British Journal of Dermatology, 178 (4). pp. 958-964. ISSN 0007-0963

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Abstract

Background: National standards for clothing designed to protect the wearer from the harmful effects of solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) have been implemented in Australia/New Zealand, Europe, and the USA. Industry standards reflect the need to protect the skin by covering a considerable proportion of the potentially exposed body surface area (BSA) and by reducing UVR-transmission through fabric (the Ultraviolet Protection Factor; UPF).

Objectives: This research aimed to develop a new index for rating sun-protective clothing that incorporates the BSA coverage of the garment in addition to the UPF of the fabric.

Methods: A mannequin model was fixed to an optical bench and marked with horizontal lines at 1 cm intervals. An algorithm (the Garment Protector Factor; GPF) was developed based on the number of lines visible on the clothed versus unclothed mannequin and the UPF of the garment textile. This data was collected in 2015-16 and analysed in 2016.

Results: The GPF weights fabric UPF by BSA coverage above the minimum required by international sun-protective clothing standards for upper-body, lower-body and full-body garments. GPF increases with BSA coverage of the garment and fabric UPF. Three nominal categories are proposed for the GPF: 0 ≤ GPF < 3 for garments that 'meet' minimum standards; 3 ≤ GPF < 6 for garments providing 'good' sun-protection; and GPF ≥ 6 indicating 'excellent' protection.

Conclusions: Adoption of the proposed rating scheme should encourage manufacturers to design sun-protective garments that exceed the minimum standard for BSA coverage, with positive implications for skin cancer prevention, consumer education and sun-protection awareness.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Submitted version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2018 05:48
Last Modified: 14 May 2018 00:04
Uncontrolled Keywords: sun-protective clothing, GPF, UPF, standard, skin cancer
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111716 Preventive Medicine
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
02 Physical Sciences > 0299 Other Physical Sciences > 029999 Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences
C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/bjd.15938
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/33092

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