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Most UV protective clothing affords little shielding

THE majority of sun-protective clothing sold in the city has no effect or very poor performance in ultraviolet (UV) protection that could not match what producers promised on the labels, according to test results of the city’s consumer protection office. 

The Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission tested 32 pieces of clothing that claimed or suggested they blocked UV rays, finding that only one piece met the national standard. 

The samples were priced from 62 yuan to 483 yuan, and were purchased from big shopping malls in the city or online. Some of their producers claimed that the clothing provided strong UV protection, applied anti-UV technologies or gave complete protection for the skin. 

The rare, continuous heat wave that baked the city for more than 40 days this summer boosted the sales of sun-protective clothing, but the cheating of consumers with irregularities in labeling is rampant, the commission said. 

Among the 32 samples, 29 had a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) below 15, accounting for 90.6 percent. 

UPF is a rating designation for sun-protective textiles and clothing. Only when the UPF reaches above 40 and the solar UV transmittal is below 5 percent can the clothing be called an “ultraviolet protection product,” according to the national standard on ultraviolet protection of fabrics. 

A total of 18 pieces of clothing were marked with the UPF figure, and 17 were found to have a lower UPF than what was listed on the label.


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