UV protective clothing?

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UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:04 pm

Just found a site that sells UV protective clothing. Apparently the fabric they use is specially made to block UV rays, whereas regular clothing lets in a harmful amount of UV rays. It sounds interesting, but I'm not sure what to make of it. Is this kind of clothing worth it?
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:37 pm

Sounds like pure snake oil to me.

I don't think normal clothing lets in anywhere close to a "harmful amount" of UV radiation.
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:41 pm

A regular shirt has the equivalent of SPF 50 or greater (don't have the specific number). Case in point, farmers tan.

This is a gimmick to make you throw money at something you don't need. I have no doubt that these clothes will protect you from the sun, but so will just about anything else.

The site does bring up an interesting point with it's sun hats however. While you conventionally cover your body with clothes, your face is typically exposed to direct UV light. For this reason I suggest either investing in a sun hat or applying daily sunblock, if you do have concerns about your UV exposure.
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:55 pm

FireGryphon wrote:Just found a site that sells UV protective clothing. Apparently the fabric they use is specially made to block UV rays, whereas regular clothing lets in a harmful amount of UV rays. It sounds interesting, but I'm not sure what to make of it. Is this kind of clothing worth it?


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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:09 am

Wow.....what a scam. All clothing offers at least some UV protection, and the proof is your tan line! Want to block more UV rays? Wear thicker clothing. They might be onto something if they were selling super-thin, almost lingerie type pullovers with full UV protection, but they're not. In fact, most of their clothing looks fairly heavy/substantial. Maybe the fabric is more breathable, but I doubt there's anything special about it at all from a UV perspective. You could "block" just as many UV rays with a $9.95 shirt from Target.
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:17 am

Or just spend more time in your basement geek cave like I do. No UV protection required! :lol:
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 2:27 am

If it's worth it probably depends on where you live and how long you spend in the sun.
It's not about preventing tanning it's about preventing skin cancer from long term exposure.
It's not snake oil unless they have managed to fool quite a lot of scientists
http://www.arpansa.gov.au/radiationprot ... ection.cfm
Australia has an interest in this as we have the highest rate of skin cancer in the world.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sun-prot ... thing.html
Indicates that tests show a normal cotton shirt stops 50% of UVB, a 40+ shirt will stop 97% or more.
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:54 am

Not snake oil; I bought a bandana for snowboarding that was advertised as having better UV protection because it is a tighter-weave material, and unlike my old one, my forehead didn't go red after a week.

There is no magic coating or special treatment, it's just a different fibre that lets no light through, where my old bandana was thin enough that you could see silhouettes of people if you looked through it.
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 5:57 am

Chrispy_ wrote:Not snake oil; I bought a bandana for snowboarding that was advertised as having better UV protection because it is a tighter-weave material, and unlike my old one, my forehead didn't go red after a week.

There is no magic coating or special treatment, it's just a different fibre that lets no light through, where my old bandana was thin enough that you could see silhouettes of people if you looked through it.


Or maybe that bandana is embedded with snake oil (which blocks UV and nourishes your skin, leaving soft, un-red forehead), I mean isn't that what everybody has been saying?
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:36 am

The real story on UV exposure is total amount. People get sunburnt on beaches because they wear little clothing and spend several hours in direct sunlight. I'm sure if you spent enough time in the sun covered completely in "normal" clothing, you might get a sunburn, but it would take a very long time.

Sure, this clothing will reduce the rate of exposure, but normal clothing does that as well. If you want to protect yourself, cover up, wear hats, avoid direct sunlight when, use sunscreen when you can't. If you're really concerned about daily exposure, invest in a daily lotion that has a SPF. I'm sure a $5 or $10 bottle of lotion will be much more versatile than a $40 hat or shirt.
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:39 am

I'm guessing it's similar to the shirts for swimming and stuff. Rash guard, I think they are called. They definitely provide more protection for my wife's fair skin than regular t-shirts.
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:53 am

My wife was just mentioning something along these lines to our dance instructor who just bought a new house (with a big yard). Let me see if I can get the brand/name of the clothing she suggested--oh, and some feedback on how well it work. I know she bought a shirt for her Dad to wear when he golfs, and he seems quite happy with it.

Oh, and to address an earlier comment, the point of the shirt in question was that it was lighter and "breathable" while still offering excellent protection against sunburns.
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:53 pm

I've used regular synthetic work-out clothes (no mesh) and have never been burnt. I read somewhere that a good way of evaluating the SPF of clothes is just to look at them. If you can see through the fabric of the shirt, then so can the sun rays. Thus a heavier tighter weave will offer you the best protection while a lighter looser weave will offer less protection.

Shirts are made out of either cotton, spandex or nylon. There is no "secret" coating to make a shirt more SPF higher. It just comes down to the thickness and weave.
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:55 pm

Personally, I think buying clothes for UV protection is a waste of time.
However, certain clothing dyes are optically active due to conjugation of the molecules, and therefore disrupt UV rays.
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:14 pm

While it may be true that some clothing is more effective than others at blocking UV radiation, the vast majority of clothing (unless you like wearing a lot of sheer lace - and hey, what self-respecting tech geek doesn't?) is more than adequate at protecting the wearer. Rule of thumb: If you can't see through it, it will protect you well enough from the sun. Most unwanted/dangerious levels of sun exposure occur on parts of the body that are clothes-free any how (face, arms, ears, etc), so even if these clothes did offer more protection, it would be largely useless anyhow.

Also, a bit of bright, intense sun is good for you (ie, half an hour or less at noon). You just don't want to be out in it for hours (or more than half an hour or so if unprotected). When the sun is at it's brightest - shining most directly at you (at around noon most places) you get the highest concentration of UVB needed for making Vitamin D (optimally at wavelengths between 280 and 320 nm). And you only need less than half an hour of decent daily sun exposure to get more than enough Vitamin D.
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Re: UV protective clothing?

Postposted on Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:22 pm

Exposing just the backs of your hands generates enough Vitamin D. You don't have to go all George Hamilton.
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