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- A common misconception is that a cotton t-shirt provides adequate protection from the sun. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF), a typical white cotton t-shirt averages an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of only 7, while the SCF and leading dermatologists recommend a UPF of at least 30. UPF can also decline when fabric is exposed to chlorine and salt, and after multiple washings so it is important that fabrics be tested in conditions that simulate regular use.
- Buying sun-protective clothing from a reputable manufacturer is the only way to know that your skin is protected. When considering a garment for sun protection, it is important to ask:
- – Does it claim to offer UPF protection and to what level?- Was it tested, and which test protocols were used?- Was real wear simulated as part of the test through washing, exposure to light, chlorine, etc.?- Was testing conducted to simulate sun-protection throughout the products life cycle?
- Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., and more than 3.5 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in more than two million Americans each year. The Skin Cancer Foundation and many leading dermatologists recommend sun protective clothing as a first line of defense.
- The Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced in June 2015 that skin cancer rates doubled during the past three decades. The U.S. Surgeon General issued a call to action in 2014 about skin cancer as major public health threat.