About UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor):
What is the difference between SPF and UPF?
UVB radiation causes most sunburns. However, UVA radiation passes further into the skin and is thought to cause the most dangerous cancers like melanoma. It is important that your sun protection regime protect you from both UVA and UVB. To cut the threat of cancer, we must reduce exposure to the sun. This can be accomplished with a combination of clothing and liquid sunscreen. The difference between SPF and UPF is what follows:
UPF refers to Ultraviolet Protection Factor in clothing worn to prevent exposure to harmful UV rays. Fabric is tested by an independent lab with a standardized test that gives a measure of how much UV radiation the fabric allows to pass through to the skin.
SPF refers to Sun Protection Factor which is a measure of how well liquid sunscreen protects the skin from UVA and UVB exposure. This is also measured by a standardized test by an independent lab, however it is necessary to keep in mind the numbers in each test do not represent the same protection.
UPF 50 clothing is considered “excellent” protection from both UVA and UVB by The skin Cancer Foundation in its article on Sun-Protective Clothing.
SPF 30 or higher broad-spectrum sunscreen is recommended by the American Cancer Society but must be reapplied every 2 hours. Broad Spectrum refers to both UVA and UVB radiation, be careful that your sunscreen has protection from both. See more recommendations about how to choose sunscreen from the American Cancer Society’ UV protection page.
About Liquid Sunscreen:
Therefore, look for a broad spectrum sunscreen. Liquid sunscreen may provide effective sun protection for the first 2 or so hours. However, SPF liquid sunscreen has to be re-applied, stains things it comes in contact with, including the boat, your clothing, and most fishing gear.
In contrast, long sleeve sun protection shirts with the correct UPF will protect you all day long. The American Cancer Society says that a garment with UPF 40 to 50 will prevent exposure to UVA and UVB and provide all day protection. Combine with UPF 50 Sun Mask UPF 50 sun gloves, wide brimmed hat, UV sunglasses and waterproof sunscreen on exposed areas like hands.
With proper protection, fishing can be a rewarding lifetime pursuit and the risk of skin cancer can be minimized with sun protection apparel and sunscreen. When it comes to the sun, let the shirt do the work.