Introduction

New fabrics are being introduced to the clothing market that claim to block all UV light. There are additives to put in your wash to make your clothes more efficient at blocking UV light. But are these added expenses needed? How well do your current clothes and swimming suits protect your skin?

The ultraviolet band is broken into three types referred to as UVA, UVB, and UVC. The most harmful of these three, UVC light, is absorbed by the atmosphere and does not reach the Earth’s surface. UVA light is deeppenetrating and causes tanning, wrinkles, and some forms of skin cancer. UVB light is also responsible for many skin problems such as sunburns and several forms of skin cancer.

In this experiment, you will measure the levels of UVB light that can pass through fabrics. You will compare fabric colors and types. You will then get the fabrics wet and again measure the amount of UVB light passing through.

Objectives

In this experiment, you will

  • Use a UVB Sensor to measure UVB light.
  • Determine the amount of UVB light allowed through various fabrics.
  • Determine whether the UVB-blocking abilities of fabrics change when wet.