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Review
August 2001

Defined UV Protection by Apparel Textiles

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany (Drs Hoffmann, Avermaete, Altmeyer, and Gambichler); and Scientific and Technical Center of the Belgian Textile Industry, Zwijnaarde, Belgium (Dr Laperre).

Arch Dermatol. 2001;137(8):1089-1094. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Dermatol.-ISSN-0003-987x-137-8-dre10006
Abstract

This article was written to update information on test methods and standards for determining the UV protection of apparel textiles and on factors affecting UV protective properties of fabrics, from dermatological and textile technological viewpoints. Articles from dermatological and textile technological journals published from 1990 to 2001 were identified from MEDLINE, Excerpta Medica/EMBASE, World Textiles, and Textile Technology Digest. Peer-reviewed dermatological articles, textile technological research articles, and normative publications were selected. Independent data extraction was performed by several observers. Spectrophotometry is the preferred method for determining UV protection factor of textile materials. Various textile qualities affect the UV protection factor of a finished garment; important elements are the fabric porosity, type, color, weight, and thickness. The application of UV absorbers in the yarns significantly improves the UV protection factor of a garment. With wear and use, several factors can alter the UV protective properties of a textile, including stretch, wetness, and degradation due to laundering. Standards in the field exist in Australia and Great Britain, and organizations such as the European Standardization Commission in Europe and the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists and the American Society for Testing and Materials in the United States are also establishing standards for the determination and labeling of sun protective clothing. Various textile qualities and conditions of wear and use affect UV protective properties of apparel textiles. The use of UV blocking fabrics can provide excellent protection against the hazards of sunlight; this is especially true for garments manufactured as UV protective clothing.

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