What Is UPF Clothing Effective For?
UPF clothing does not have any advantage over regular clothes, preventing sun burns. So why should anyone invest in a 30$ UPF shirt when they can buy a 3$ T-shirt at Wallmart.
What UPF Protective Clothing Protect From
The answer is that there are two kinds of sun UV rays. UVA and UVB.
We will begin with the UVB rays, which are short Ultra Violet rays. They are those which cause skin burns and tanning during the summer. Because they are short wave rays, they can be easily blocked by wearing any clothes or even simply being in the shade. No one has never got sun burned by sitting in the shade.
The trouble begins with UVA rays. These are the long wave Ultra Violet rays, which are harmful in mid December as they are in mid June. They are reaching the earth at the same level all year round.
Due to the fact that the UVA has a longer wavelength, it penetrates deeper into the skin. Thus not causing superficial skin burns, but causing damage to the lower skin layers. UVA is now known for it’s relation to skin cancer diseases.
UVA can penetrate clothes, clouds, and is intense in the shade too.
So wearing a 3$ T-Shirt may cover your skin from short UVB rays, but will cause overdose of UVA rays to penetrate large skin areas, while you ‘think’ you are protected.
UPF Has Double UV Protection
Wearing UPF apparel means you are protecting your body from both UVB & UVA. The fabrics are 99% blocking incoming rays, leaving your skin well covered and protected.
If you are working outside, or plan hiking outside, buy also an additional UPF hat, together with a UPF shirt the upper body coverage is quite sufficient.