Enjoy the Sun, but Don't Get Burned
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(ARA) - Most people believe that if clothing and sunscreens reduce reddening of the skin, they are providing enough protection. Unfortunately, blocking UVB, which causes redness, may give a false sense of security. Dangerous UVA radiation can cause aging and cancer without allowing redness to occur.
If you extend sun exposure because light clothing or sunscreen seems to be protecting you, the result could be more damage than you would have sustained if you had seen the effects of the sun. The SPF scale is based on reddening of human skin and therefore is only measuring UVB, so sunscreens can have a high SPF number but not protect against UVA. This is why people are now cautioned to look for products that protect against both UVA and UVB, but the amount of UVB protection is not stated.
Special sun protective fabrics are tested for both UVA and UVB. Unlike sunscreens, they are rated very conservatively and the rating system includes UVA. “These specially labeled fabrics really do protect you, but they are very expensive and are available only in limited styles” says Dan Gutting of Atsko, Inc., makers of U-V-Block a do-it-yourself product you can apply to light summer fabrics. "With U-V-Block you can treat the kids’ favorite shirts and know that they are protected if they are wearing the shirt."
The company claims that the protection lasts thru dozens of washings and Mr. Gutting adds that the shirt will actually last longer and fade less because of the U-V-Block Treatment. “We have customers treating flags, umbrellas and sail covers to make them last 2 to 4 times as long in sun exposure.
Treating high coverage clothes with U-V-Block is effective and economical, but there is no alternative to sunscreen for exposed skin. Be sure to select a product that protects against both UVA and UVB and has a high SPF. Follow the directions carefully. It takes a lot of product and frequent applications to maintain the protection advertised on the bottle. Sunscreen labels state: apply 20 minutes before exposure, reapply every 30 minutes, use a full ounce to cover adult body. Few people follow this prescription.
With increased UV radiation reaching the earth because of ozone depletion and more leisure time to enjoy the outdoors, skin cancer is the fastest increasing cancer in the country.
Skin damage from the sun takes 20 years to appear. Children are far more susceptible to sun damage than adults, and we receive more than half of our lifetime sun exposure before age 18.
U-V-Block on your favorite summer fashion is the most effective, most convenient, and most economical alternative for people who want to enjoy the sunshine. It also reduces exposure to the irritating chemicals found in most sunscreens.
One bottle will treat 4 long sleeve shirts for years of cool protection without heavy dark fabrics or chemical exposure. U-V-Block Item #2344 (17 fl. oz. for $13.20)
U-V-Block is a registered trademark of Atsko Incorporated.