The Garment Protection Factor (GPF): an index for sun-protective clothing that combines garment coverage and UVR transmittance

Harrison, Simone L. and Downs, Nathan J. and Rawlings, Alex T. and Parisi, Alfio V. (2018) The Garment Protection Factor (GPF): an index for sun-protective clothing that combines garment coverage and UVR transmittance. In: 4th International Conference on UV & Skin Cancer Prevention 2018, 1-4 May 2018, Toronto, Canada.

Abstract

Introduction: Clothing provides a protective barrier that reduces the amount of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) reaching the skin. Industry standards for sun-protective clothing have been implemented in Australia/New Zealand, Europe, and the USA. However, ratings and labelling used for clothing marketed as sun-protective do not routinely communicate the importance of garment coverage, although evidence suggests that this may be as important in preventing skin damage as the UVR-transmittance of the fabric. We propose a new index for sun-protective clothing called 'the Garment Protection Factor (GPF)' which considers both the body surface area (BSA) covered by a garment and the Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of the fabric from which it is made.

Methods: Manikins (range of sizes and ages) were fixed to an optical bench and marked with horizontal lines at 1 cm intervals. The GPF algorithm was developed based on the number of lines visible on clothed versus unclothed manikins and the UPF of the garment fabric.

Results: The GPF weights fabric UPF by the BSA-covered above the minimum specified in international sun-protective clothing standards for upper-body, lower-body and all-in-one garments. GPF increases with BSA-covered and UPF. Three nominal categories are proposed: 0 ≤GPF<3 for garments that 'meet' minimum standards; 3 ≤GPF< 6 for garments that provide 'good' sun-protection; and GPF ≥6 for garments that provide ‘excellent’ protection.

Conclusions: The proposed GPF provides a means by which garment design (in terms of proportion of skin covered) and fabric UPF can be reported in a single index. Adopting the GPF would encourage manufacturers to design sun-protective garments that exceed the minimum standard for BSA-coverage. The research may also assist efforts to standardize the evaluation and labelling of sun-protective clothing across global markets, with positive implications for consumer awareness and skin cancer prevention world-wide.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Abstract published in conference programme.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2018 05:16
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2018 03:50
Uncontrolled Keywords: GPF, ultraviolet, UPF, skin cancer
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services 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
C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/34115

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