Effects of laundering on UV protection

Sliney et al.44 reported the first study on the effects of laundering. In that study various fabrics were laundered ten times at 60 0C. Post-laundering, a majority of the fabrics showed a decrease in UVR transmission with thicker fabrics exhibiting a higher decrease. The researchers surmised that the process of laundering led to compaction due to shrinkage presumably decreasing porosity and hence resulting in an improvement in UV protection. Stanford et al.52 subjected five jersey-knit cotton T-shirts to a total of 36 washes. Fabric UPF was measured after one wash and after 36 washes. Mean fabric UPF approximately doubled for all T-shirts after the first wash and further additional change after another 35 washes was not significant. In practical terms, the results of this limited study meant that the protective ability of a new cotton T-shirt could be expected to last the lifetime of the T-shirt. The results of this study were also confirmed by a wear and wash trial using 20 human subjects. The subjects wore their T-shirts for 4-8 h per week and washed their T-shirt once per week. After ten wear and wash cycles, the rated UPF of the T-shirts increased to UPF 35 from UPF 15.

Zhou and Crews53 did a more comprehensive study on the effect of repeated launderings on UVR transmission through fabrics. In their study, eight types of woven and knitted summer wear fabrics ranging from a 100% cotton sheeting to blends of cotton/polyester to a 100% nylon were subjected to 20 launderings using detergents with and without an optical brightening agent (OBAs). Optical brightening agents are additives found in home laundry detergents to enhance the whiteness of textiles. Since OBAs function by excitation in the UV band and re-emission in the visible blue band of the electromagnetic spectrum it stood to reason that fabrics laundered with a detergent containing an OBA would likely have enhanced sun protection. As expected, all the woven and knit cotton fabrics in the study showed an increase in UPF and decrease in percent UVR transmission after repeated launderings using a detergent with OBA. The positive results were attributed partly to the high absorbent properties of cotton fiber, which helps the buildup of OBA on cotton, and partly to the chemical affinity of the cotton fiber for the OBA in the detergent used in the study. Without an OBA in the detergent the results were different for the woven and knit cotton fabrics. Whereas the UPF of cotton knit doubled after 20 launderings changes in UPF for the woven cotton fabrics were small. Again, the results were not surprising since knit fabrics shrink to a larger extent on laundering which consequently leads to reduced porosity and increased UPF. Similar results were obtained for the polyester/cotton blends in the study.

For 100% polyester and 100% nylon delustered with TiO2 the changes in UPF on laundering were not significant as they lacked affinity for the OBA and also because they did not shrink and compact to any appreciable degree. Results of the Zhou and Crews study53 were confirmed by a real-life study conducted by

Osterwalder et al6 In this study approximately 100 cotton and viscose garments such as T-shirts, shorts and dresses were worn and washed in selected families over a whole summer. The garments were washed with or without optical brighteners and also with and without a fabric softener. It was found that the initial UVR transmission generally decreased or the UPF increased after one season of wear and wash. For fabrics with poor substantivity to OBAs, Osterwalder et al.6 have suggested a detergent with an UV absorber additive. According to them, an UV absorber would exhaust very well from the wash liquor and stay on the fabric for several washes. In their test study they achieved an UPF of 30 on fabrics with initial UPFs of 3-5 using a detergent with an UV absorber additive.

Eckhardt and Rohwer5 in their report agree with Osterwalder et al. and further contend that an UV absorber additive in a detergent might be the better alternative to OBAs since OBAs exhibit a weakness in UV absorption around 308 nm which falls in the range of UV radiation that is most harmful to human skin. In addition fewer washes were required to provide good UPF values when using a detergent containing a UV absorber as compared to when using a detergent with an optical brightener.

13.6 Future trends

The preceding discussion outlines the need for UV protective textiles and the complexities associated with making a textile impervious to ultraviolet radiation. What is not certain, however, is the magnitude of the market for UV textiles. According to most industry experts, people have been led to believe over many decades that sunscreen lotions are an equivalent alternative to covering up with clothing. Thus currently the market is limited to audiences that are very aware of the risks of skin cancer due to UV exposure. It is apparent that campaigns to increase public awareness of the harmful risks of UV exposure and education regarding the beneficial effects of UV textiles have to be mounted to develop the UV textiles market. Nevertheless, there is guarded optimism among manufacturers that the need for UV protective fabrics will grow as people live longer lives and are more active outdoors. However, in the immediate future the most promising market for UV protective textiles appears to be children's wear since as alluded to previously, children are more vulnerable to the photo carcinogenetic effects of excessive sun exposure. The development of the UV protective children's apparel market will necessarily involve education of parents, caregivers, teachers, pediatricians, and public health officials in addition to textile and clothing manufacturers. '5'55

In a survey by Black et al.5 little selection of sun protective clothing was found in many retail stores which means that a niche market for UV protective children's apparel remains untapped. A related point that is also not known is whether apparel and textile designers are encouraged to design sun protective clothing for children. Design of UV protective clothing will have to take into consideration children and adolescent's preferences in design and fashion, a finding pointed out in a study by DeLong et al.55 In that study educational intervention resulted in an increase in knowledge of sun protective factors in clothing. However, preference and intent to wear was based on style and fashion considerations. On a cautionary note, manufacturers who wish to exploit this market are advised to bear in mind that strict quality control measures and testing criteria will have to be instituted, since it has been reported that UPF values can vary by as much as 30 to 40% at different sites in the same batch of textile material. A positive approach to expanding the UV textiles market is through building trust in UV labels and claims of UV protective properties in textile materials by way of stringent quality-control programs.

13.7 References

1. Capjack, L., Kerr, N., Davis, S., Fedosejevs, R., Hatch, K.L. and Markee, N.L. (1994). Protection of humans from ultraviolet radiation through the use of textiles: A Review. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 23(2), 198-218.

2. Pailthrope, M. (1998). Apparel textiles and sun protection: a marketing opportunity or a quality control nightmare? Mutation Research, 422, 175-183.

3. Skin cancer facts [http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/ ped_7_1_What_You_Need_To_Know_About_Skin_Cancer.asp?sitearea=PED]. Retrieved 9/22/2004.

4. Carcinogens listed in the tenth report [http://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/roc/toc10.html]. Retrieved 9/22/04.

5. Black, C., Grise, K., Heitmeyer, J. and Readdick, C.A. (2001). Sun protection: knowledge, attitude, and perceived behavior of parents and observed dress of preschool children. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 30(1), 93109.

6. Osterwalder, U., Schlenker, W., Rohwer, H., Martin, E. and Schuh, S. (2000). Facts and fiction on ultraviolet protection by clothing. Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 91(1-3), 255-260.

7. Milne, E., English, D.R., Corti, B., Cross, D., Borland, R., Gies, P., Costa, C. and Johnston, R. (1999). Direct measurement of sun protection in primary schools. Preventive Medicine, 29, 45-52.

8. Gies, P.H., Roy, C.R., Toomey, S. and McLennan, A. (1998). Protection against solar ultraviolet radiation. Mutation Research, 422, 15-22.

9. Truhan, A.P. (1991). Sun protection in childhood. Clinical Pediatrics, 30, 676-681.

10. Perenich, T.A. (1998). Textiles as preventive measures for skin cancer. Colourage Annual, 71-73.

11. Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand: AS/NZS 4399:1996; Sun-protective clothing-Evaluation and classification. Homebush, NSW, Australia/Wellington, New Zealand.

12. labsphere® (2000). Technical Notes. SPF analysis of textiles. labsphere®, North Sutton, NH 03260.

13. Hilfiker, R., Kaufman, W., Reinert, G. and Schmidt, E. (1996). Improving sun protection factors of fabrics by applying UV-absorbers. Textile Research Journal, 66(1), 62-69.

14. Gies, H.P., Roy, C.R., McLennan, A., Diffey, B.L., Pailthorpe, M., Driscoll, C., Whillock, M., McKinlay, A.F., Grainger, K., Clark, I. and Sayre, R.M. (1997). UV protection by clothing: An intercomparison of measurements and methods. Health Physics, 75(3), 456-464.

15. Hoffman, K., Laperre, J., Avermaete, A., Altmeyer, P. and Gambichler, T. (2001). Defined UV protection by apparel textiles. Archives of Dermatology, 137(8), 10891094.

16. Crews, P.C., Kachman, S. and Beyer, A.G. (1999). Influences on UVR transmission of undyed woven fabrics. Textile Chemist and Colorist, 31(6), 17-26.

17. Menter, J.M. and Hatch, K.L. (2003). Clothing as solar radiation protection. Current Problems in Dermatology, 31, 50-63.

18. Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency Fact Sheet 14. Clothing and solar UV protection [http://www.arpansa.gov.au]. Retrieved 9/22/2004.

19. Bech-Thomsen, N., Wulf, H.C. and Ullman, S. (1991). Xeroderma pigmentosum lesions relate to ultraviolet transmittance by clothes. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 24, 365-368.

20. Robson, J. and Diffey, B.L. (1990). Textiles and sun protection. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology and Photomedicine, 7, 32-34.

21. Ravishankar, J. and Diffey, B. (1997). Laboratory testing of UV transmission through fabrics may underestimate protection. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology and Photomedicine, 13, 202-203.

22. Menzies, S.W., Lukins, P.B., Greenoak, G.E., Walker, P.J., Pailthorpe, M.T., Martin, David, S.K. and Georgouras, K.E. (1991). A comparative study of fabric protection against ultraviolet-induced erythema determined by spectrophotometric and human skin measurements. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology and Photomedicine, 8 (4), 157-163.

23. Greenoak, G.E. and Pailthorpe, M.T. (1996). Skin protection by clothing from the damaging effects of sunlight. Australasian Textiles, Jan/Feb., 61.

24. Gambichler, T., Avermaete, A., Bader, A., Altmeyer, P. and Hoffman, K. (2001). Ultraviolet protection by summer textiles. Ultraviolet transmission measurements verified by determination of the minimal erythema dose with solar-simulated radiation. British Journal of Dermatology, 144, 484-489.

25. Gies, H.P., Roy, C.R. and Holmes, G. (2000). Ultraviolet radiation protection by clothing: Comparison of in vivo and in vitro measurements. Radiation Protection Dosimetry, 91(1-3), 247-250.

26. Hoffmann, K., Kaspar, K., Gambichler, T. and Altmeyer, P. (2000). In vitro and in vivo determination of the UV protection factor for lightweight cotton and viscose summer fabrics: A preliminary study. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 43(6), 1009-1016.

27. Knittel, D., Schollmeyer, E., Holtschmidt, H. and Quintern, L. (1999). Measurements of UV transmission of textiles-Use of an in vivo simulating measuring method for UPF determination at various stages of cotton finishing. Melliand Textilberichte (English), (4), E73-75.

28. American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. AATCC Test Method 1831998: Transmittance or blocking of erythemally weighted ultraviolet radiation through fabrics. AATCC Technical Manual, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.

29. British Standards Institute: BS 7914: 1998. Method of test for penetration of erythemally weighted solar ultraviolet radiation through clothing fabrics. London, BSI.

30. CEN: The European Committee for Standardization 1999. Textiles-solar UV protective properties-methods of test for apparel fabrics. PrEN 13758. Stassart, Brussels.

31. Hatch, K.L. (2001). Fry not! American Society for Testing and Materials Standarization News, January, 18-21.

32. American Society for Testing and Materials (2000): ASTM D6544: Standard practice for the preparation of textiles prior to UV transmittance testing. Conshohocken, PA, USA.

33. American Society for Testing and Materials (2000): ASTM D6603: Standard guide for labeling UV protective textiles. Conshohocken, PA, USA.

34. Hatch, K.L. (2003). Making a claim that a garment is UV protective. AATCC Review, 5(12), 23-26.

35. Thiry, M.C. (2002). Here comes the sun. AATCC Review, 2(6), 13-16.

36. Gambichler, T., Rotterdam, S., Altmeyer, P. and Hoffman, K. (2001). Protection against ultraviolet radiation by commercial summer clothing: need for standarised testing and labeling. BMC Dermatology, 1:6. Available from [http:// www.biomedcentral.com/1471-5945/1/6].

37. Rieker, J., Guschlbauer, T. and Rusmich, S. (2001). Scientific and practical assessment of UV protection. Melliand Textilberichte (English), (7-8), E155-156.

38. Curiskis, J. and Pailthorpe, M. (1996). Apparel Textiles and sun protection. Textiles Magazine, 2J(4), 13.

39. Algaba, I., Riva, A. and Crews, P.C. (2004). Influence of fiber type and fabric porosity on the UPF of summer fabrics. AATCC Review, 4(2), 26-31.

40. Reinert, G., Fuso, F., Hilfiker, R. and Schmidt, E. (1997). UV-Protecting properties of textile fabrics and their improvement. Textile Chemist and Colorist, 29(12), 3643.

41. Davis, S., Capjack, L., Kerr, N. and Fedosejevs, R. (1997). Clothing as protection from ultraviolet radiation: Which fabric is most effective? International Journal of Dermatology, 36 (5), 374-379.

42. Booth, J.E. (1968). An Introduction to Physical Methods of Testing Textile Fibers, Yarns and Fabrics, 3rd edition, Boston: Newnes-Butterworths.

43. Wong, J.C., Cowling, I. and Parisi, A.V. (2000). Reducing human exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation. Available from [http://www.photobiology.com/v1/wong]. Retrieved 9/12/2000.

44. Sliney, D.H., Benton, R.E., Cole, H.M., Epstein, S.G. and Morin, C.J. (1987). Transmission of potentially hazardous actinic ultraviolet radiation through fabrics. Applied Industrial Hygiene, 12(1), 36-44.

45. Gies, H.P., Roy, C.R., Elliot, G. and Wang, Z. (1994). Ultraviolet radiation factors for clothing, Health Physics, 67(2), 131-139.

46. Srinivasan, M. and Gatewood, B.M. (2000). Relationship of dye characteristics to UV protection provided by cotton fabric. Textile Chemist and Colorist, 32(4), 36-43.

47. Gorenek, M. and Sluga, F. (2004). Modifying the UV blocking effect of polyester fabric. Textile Research Journal, 74(6), 469-474.

48. Xin, J.H., Daoud, W.A. and Kong, Y.Y. (2004). A new approach to UV-blocking treatment for cotton fabrics. Textile Research Journal, 74(2), 97-100.

49. Moon, R.L. and Pailthorpe, M.T. (1995). Effect of stretch and wetting on the UPF of elastane fabrics. Australasian Textiles, 15(5), 39-42.

50. Kimlin, M.G., Parisi, A.V. and Meldrum, L.R. (1999). Effect of stretch on the ultraviolet spectral transmission of one type of commonly used clothing. Photodermatology, Photoimmunology and Photomedicine, 15, 171-174.

51. Crews, P.C. and Zhou, Y. (2004). The effect of wetness on the UVR transmission of woven fabrics. AATCC Review, 4(8), 41-43

52. Stanford, D.G., Georgouras, K.E. and Pailthorpe, M.T. (1995). The effect of laundering on the sun protection afforded by a summer weight garment. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 5, 28-30.

53. Zhou, Y. and Crews, P.C. (1998). Effect of OBAs and repeated launderings on UVR transmission through fabrics. Textile Chemist and Colorist, 50(11), 19-24.

54. Eckhardt, C. and Rohwer, H. (2000). UV protector for cotton fabrics. Textile Chemist and Colorist & American Dyestuff Reporter, 32(4), 21-23.

55. DeLong, M., LaBat, K., Gahring, S., Nelson, N. and Leung, L. (1999). Implications of an educational intervention program designed to increase young adolescents' awareness of hats to sun protection. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal, 17(2), 73-83.

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  • ronja
    Why medical fabrics should free from OBA?
    2 years ago

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