Australia and New Zealand have the highest rate of skin cancer in the world (4 times higher than the USA).
Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) is a major cause of skin damage. Ultraviolet rays are invisible and there is no direct correlation between temperature and UV exposure.
The Ultraviolet Protection Factor is a scale developed by the Australian Radiation Laboratory to rate the Ultraviolet Radiation protection provided by materials. The term UPF was chosen to distinguish it from the SPF scheme for sunscreens, though the protective categories are directly comparable.
On a clear summer day in New Zealand, a person with unprotected fair skin can receive enough UVR to cause sunburn in 10 - 15 minutes. Wearing protective clothing or sunscreen or seeking safe shade prolongs the time period before skin damage can occur. The UPF rating is your guide to the level of protection a product offers.
Source: International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA)
A product with a UPF rating of 15 will allow only one fifteenth of the UVR to pass through it; a UPF rating of 20 will only allow one twentieth of the UVR through and so on. Obviously the higher the UPF rating the longer the protection against UVR.
A positive step towards protecting yourself and family from Ultraviolet Radiation, is to erect shade. Shade comes in many forms with varying degrees of protection. It is important to know the level of protection, the UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor), of the shade you choose. Cool Kiwi Ltd offer some of the highest shade protection available.
IT'S ALL IN THE FABRIC
Shade cloth can act as a physical barrier to UVR. The UPF or amount of transmission depends on the amount of ultraviolet radiation that is absorbed by the fabric (eg the % of Ultraviolet Blockout - UVB). That is: if the shade cloth is rated 50%, it absorbs 50 %, transmits 50 % and has a UPF rating of 2. If the shade cloth is rated at 90%, it absorbs 90%, transmits 10% and has a UPF of 10. Shade cloth can provide UPF ratings up to 97% depending on the colour chosen.
FACTORS WHICH CAN AFFECT SHADE CLOTH FABRICS
- Weave: Closely woven fabrics transmit less UVR than loosely woven ones.
- Colour: Darker coloured fabrics tend to transmit less UVR than lighter coloured ones of the same type.
- Stretch: The protection provided by fabrics susceptible to stretching varies considerably depending upon the tension. The greater the stretch the lower the UPF.
- Quality: Quality control in the production of the fabric is important. In poor quality cheap materials the measured UPF could vary as much as 30 to 40% at different places in the same piece of material.
The shade clothes of our choice are made to high standards ensuring consistent and lasting levels of protection.
There are many shade fabrics available but their quality, and price, can vary considerably. Purchasing the right shade can be difficult, and at times confusing. Cool Kiwi will ensure you that you get and maintain the properties you need!