The objective of this study was to compare the in vitro and in vivo determination of the ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of fabrics.
Materials and Methods
In this study five different viscose fabrics were investigated.
Two of these fabrics had undergone a special treatment to confer UV protection (ENKA Sun Viskose).
In the case of viscose fibres, UV protection can be optimized through delustering,
i.e. the type and concentration of pigments used, e.g. TiO2 (Figure 1).
During the in vitro testing, the UV transmission of the fabric samples was measured in the 280-390 nm wavelength range with a Cary 3 Bio (VARIAN) spectrophotometer.
The UPF of the fabrics was then calculated from data obtained.
The in vivo measurements were made on the backs of 10 subjects with healthy skin (Figure 2).
Figure 3 presents the transmission spectra of the five different viscose materials.
A rising incidence of skin cancer has been observed for years now. Increased exposure to UV radiation is seen as a major factor in the occurrence of neoplasia in the skin. Suitable protective measures are therefore becoming increasingly important.
How successful sun protective clothing is in the prevention of skin cancer will depend primarily on the extent to which the public can be made aware of the need to wear such clothing.
A further important point is the testing method which is used. The results has to guarantee the UV protection.
This study has shown that - for fabrics with low UPF values at least - in vitro determination of UPF values is not sufficient.
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