Skin Cancer and UV Protection

Open access


The incidence of skin cancer is increasing by epidemic proportions. Basal cell cancer remains the most common skin neoplasm, and simple excision is generally curative. On the other hand, aggressive local growth and metastasis are common features of malignant melanoma, which accounts for 75% of all deaths associated with skin cancer. The primary cause of skin cancer is long exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UV-R) crossed with the amount of skin pigmentation and family genetics. It is believed that in childhood and adolescence, 80% of UV-R gets absorbed while in the remaining, 20 % gets absorbed later in the lifetime. This suggests that proper and early photoprotection may reduce the risk of subsequent occurrence of skin cancer. Reducing the exposure time to sunlight, using sunscreens and protective textiles are the three ways of UV protection. Most people think that all the clothing will protect them, but it does not provide full sun screening properties. Literature sources claim that only 1/3 of the spring and summer collections tested give off proper UV protection. This is very important during the summer months, when UV index is the highest. Fabric UV protection ability highly depends on large number of factors such as type of fiber, fabric surface, construction, porosity, density, moisture content, type and concentration of dyestuff, fluorescent whitening agents, UV-B protective agents (UV absorbers), as well as nanoparticles, if applied. For all of these reasons, in the present paper, the results of UV protecting ability according to AS/NZS 4399:1996 will be discussed to show that standard clothing materials are not always adequate to prevent effect of UV-R to the human skin; and to suggest the possibilities for its improvement for this purpose enhancing light conversion and scattering. Additionally, the discrepancy in UV protection was investigated in distilled water as well as Adriatic Sea water.

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Autex Research Journal

The Journal of Association of Universities for Textiles (AUTEX)

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