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Some Color Shades Offer Better Protection Against Sun’s Ultraviolet Rays

Date:
October 15, 2009
Source:
American Chemical Society
Summary:
Economy-minded consumers who want protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays -- but rather not pay premium prices for sun-protective clothing -- should think blue and red, rather than yellow. Scientists are reporting that the same cotton fabric dyed deep blue or red provide greater UV protection than shades of yellow.

When choosing clothing to protect against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, people should consider blue or red colors rather than yellow. A new study shows that these darker colors, when applied to cotton fabrics, tend to have better UV absorption.
Credit: iStockphoto

Economy-minded consumers who want protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays — but rather not pay premium prices for sun-protective clothing — should think blue and red, rather than yellow. Scientists in Spain are reporting that the same cotton fabric dyed deep blue or red provide greater UV protection than shades of yellow. Their study could lead to fabrics with better sun protection.

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Ascensiσn Riva and colleagues explain that the color of a fabric is one of the most important factors in determining how well clothing protects against UV radiation. Gaps, however, exist in scientific knowledge about exactly how color interacts with other factors to influence a fabric's ability to block ultraviolet protection factor (UPF).

The scientists describe use of computer models that relate the level of UV protection achieved with three fabric dyes to their effects in changing the UPF of fabrics and other factors. In doing so, they dyed cotton fabrics in a wide range of red, blue, and yellow shades and measured the ability of each colored sample to absorb UV light.

Fabrics with darker or more intense colors tended to have better UV absorption. Deep blue shades offered the highest absorption, while yellow shades offered the least. Clothing manufacturers could use information from this study to better design sun-protective clothing, the scientists indicate.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ascensin Riva, Ins Algaba, Montserrat Pepi, Remedios Prieto. Modeling the Effects of Color on the UV Protection Provided by Cotton Woven Fabrics Dyed with Azo Dyestuffs. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, September 23, 2009 DOI: 10.1021/ie9006694

Cite This Page:

American Chemical Society. "Some Color Shades Offer Better Protection Against Sun’s Ultraviolet Rays." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091014130708.htm>.
American Chemical Society. (2009, October 15). Some Color Shades Offer Better Protection Against Sun’s Ultraviolet Rays. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091014130708.htm
American Chemical Society. "Some Color Shades Offer Better Protection Against Sun’s Ultraviolet Rays." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091014130708.htm (accessed March 2, 2015).

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