Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

UV Light and Clothing

Figure from experiment 22 from Earth Science with Vernier


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.


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.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Earth Science with Vernier »

Experiment 22 from Earth Science with Vernier Lab Book

<em>Earth Science with Vernier</em> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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