Does UV blocking clothing really work?

Don't Waste Your Money

CINCINNATI - With this summer already a scorcher, consumers are looking for anything to protect themselves from the sun.

One of the newest ways is by wearing sun-protective clothing.
But critics say some of these items are giving a false sense of security, and may not be offering the protection they claim.

Kids everywhere wearing It

Sun protective shirts are all the rage for children these days anywhere there's water.

"I've got on an over shirt so I don't get sunburned," said one 7-year-old.
But it's no longer just swim shirts.

LL bean, The Gap, and other clothing retailers now sell full lines of sun blocking shorts and shirts.

But two new reports in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal say not all sun blocking products are created equal.

The Journal report says it's important to make sure it has at least an UPF 30 rating  (UPF is like SPF, but for clothes.) Not all clothing is rated.

The New York Times article, meantime, says sleeveless sun protective shirts, and short shorts, give a false sense of security, and lead people to leave their sunscreen at home.

Detergent and shampoo claims

What about SunGuard, the laundry additive that washes UV protection into your clothes?

The FDA and Skin Cancer Foundation have tested it and say it works for up to 20 washes.

Dermatologist Dr. Marty Visscher said "this product and the fabrics that are treated with the products have been tested to show that they do in fact provide some protection."
But just like with pre treated clothing, the reports warn that you'll still burn on your arms and legs if that's all you use.
Finally, the Journal report warns about UV blocking shampoo.  It says the shampoo is great for keeping your hair color from fading, but does nothing to protect your scalp from burning.

For our report on the best rub-on sunscreens, click here.
As always, don't waste your money.

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