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Over-exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) can cause sunburn, skin damage and skin cancer. It is believed that the occurrence of skin cancer is related to UVR exposure, and Australia has the highest incidence of skin cancer in the world.
To avoid over-exposure to solar radiation, people apply sun cream and wear suitable sun protective clothing, hats and sunglasses.
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) pioneered the development of the standard for evaluation and classification of sun protective clothing. Australia is the first country to introduce a standard for evaluating and classifying sun protective clothing (AS/NZS 4399:1996 Sun Protective Clothing Evaluation and Classification).
ARPANSA has accredited SGS Hong Kong Ltd and SGS-CSTC Shanghai for Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) testing in accordance with AS/NZS 4399:1996. Accreditation is only granted to laboratories that have successfully completed the ARPANSA inter-comparison of UPF testing.
Figure 1 - SGS UPF Testing Certificate (Click image to enlarge)
The standard uses the term UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) to designate the amount of protection provided by the clothing and to classify it into several protection categories as shown in the following table:
8090UPF Rating
Protection Category
Effective UVR Transmission %
15, 20
Good protection
6.7 to 4.2
25, 30, 35
Very good protection
4.1 to 2.6
40, 45, 50, 50+
Excellent protection
≦ 2.5
Table 1 - UPF Protection Ratings and Categories
In Australia, according to this standard, garments with a UPF rating of less than 15 cannot be labeled as sun protective. Garments with UPF ratings higher than 50 are labeled as UPF 50+.
Download the print version here:  SGS Achieves Accreditation for UPF Testing (PDF 116 KB).
Learn more about ARPANSA by visiting their website:
www.arpansa.gov.auFor more information on SGS Testing Services, please contact:
Ms. Ruth Hon
t: + 852 2774 7488
SGS Hong KongWeb: www.sgs.com/softlines

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 75,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories around the world.