Safety under the Sun
Umbrellas aren’t just for rainy days. As everyone knows, they’re also great tools for blocking the sun.
But picking the right umbrella is tricky. You have to combine scientific know-how with fashion wisdom to make the right selection.
To help you outshine others on the streets and effectively protect your skin, here we have some suggestions.
1. Understand the UV protection factor
Just like sunscreens, parasols are categorized with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) level indicating their ability to block ultraviolet rays (UV). UV rays are harmful radiation emitted by the sun and pose dangers to our skin ranging from minute tanning to even skin cancer and cataracts. A parasol labeled as UPF 30+ lets in less than one-thirtieth of UV rays. According to national standards, only umbrellas made of materials that have UPF 30+ and restrict the penetration of UV rays at 5 percent or less are qualified products that can be said to block UV rays. For daily use, you can choose parasols that are labeled at least UPF 30+. But if you stay outside for a longer time, settle for UV umbrellas or UV parasols that are labeled UPF 50+ or above, according to Buzzle.com, a general information website.
和防晒霜一样，遮阳伞也有紫外线防护系数（UPF）等级，用于表明阻挡紫外线效果的好坏。紫外线是由太阳散发的有害射线，对于皮肤有一定的危害，可能导致轻微晒伤，甚至导致皮肤癌和白内障。一把有UPF 30+标识的遮阳伞，能穿透它的紫外线不高于三十分之一。根据国家标准，只有UPF 30+和紫外线穿透率不低于5%的材料，才能算得上是防紫外线产品。日常生活中，可以选择UPF 30+或防晒系数更高的遮阳伞。但是，根据综合信息网站Buzzle.com的建议，如果在户外停留时间较长，应该选择防晒系数至少为UPF 50+的防紫外线伞或遮阳伞。
2. Fabrics matter
You might only consider the pattern of an umbrella to be worth paying attention to, but don’t ignore fabrics! Common umbrella fabrics include satin, polyester, cotton, nylon and other microfibermaterials. But studies show that polyester’s ability to block UV rays is better than other materials’. It absorbs and reflects UV rays more effectively.
Nowadays, it’s said umbrellas with black coatings inside block the sun better than those with silver coatings. But according to The Mirror, which once did an experiment on umbrellas, their UV-blocking abilities are almost the same. So, don’t throw more money at buying umbrellas with black coatings, as silver is just as good.