Fabrics that offer real protection against the sun are to be marked with a logo, the BBC reported.

Scientists had discovered that many fabrics claiming to offer protection didn't do the job and yesterday the British Standards Institute launched the logo to counter the false claims. The logo will appear on skiwear and swimwear as well as on everyday apparel and will be used throughout Europe.

Dr Colin Driscoll, of the National Radiological Protection Board said that a fabric's weave was the main factor in good sun protection: "The basic thing is the weave. If the weave is open of the item of clothing, more ultraviolet radiation from the sun will get through."