UK: UV Protection Assessment Allows For Fun In The Sun
The growing market for UVR-rated clothing ― particularly beachwear and children's wear ― has been fuelled by health education campaigns in countries such as Australia which have actively encouraged people to wear sun-protective garments. Most clothing possesses some protection, but this property can be affected by factors such as fabric type, colour, stretch and moisture content.As more and more manufacturers and retailers demand product ratings, SATRA Technology Centre in the UK is now offering to measure the sun protection qualities of clothing and sunglasses more effectively with a new Varian UV/visible spectrophotometer bought to augment its extensive facilities. Test samples are placed in a beam of light within the new instrument; the light passing through the sample is analysed and its UV component determined.SATRA works to a number of test standards that assess sun protection, including AS/NZS 4399, BS 7914 and draft European test methods. It can also offer advice to UK producers and suppliers on BS 7949:1999 for children's clothing which details upper and lower body garment coverage areas, a minimum ultra-violet protection factor, and labelling information. This standard is intended to apply to clothing that provides enhanced protection from sunburn but does not address the long-term effects of sun on the skin. A new European standard is being developed for classifying and marking apparel intended to provide solar UV protection. SATRA will be offering to assess clothing against this EU norm as soon as the test is finalised.
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