Study: Car Windows Alone Protect Little from UV Rays

May 18th, 2016 by Casey Flores

May is skin cancer awareness month and recently, one medical journal released a major report on how many people are exposed to UV-A rays daily.

The study, released by JAMA Ophthamology, found that car windows on their own don’t protect from UV rays adequately—especially the side windows. Furthermore, the report’s findings included increased rates of cataracts in the left eyes and left sides of the face.

“Automakers may wish to consider increasing the degree of UV-A protection in the side windows of automobiles,” Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler of the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute writes in the report.

In the report, Boxer Wachler measured the outside ambient UV-A radiation, along with UV-A radiation behind the front windshield and behind the driver’s side window in 29 automobiles from 15 automobile manufacturers. The years of the automobiles ranged from 1990 to 2014, with an average year of 2010. It was found that the average percentage of front-windshield UV-A blockage was 96 percent, higher than the average percentage of side-window blockage, which was 71 percent. A high level of side-window UV-A blockage (>90 percent) was found in 4 of 29 automobiles (14 percent).

Window film, endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation, is a prime solution to UV-ray exposure while in vehicles.

“It screens out almost 100 percent of UV-B and UV-A, without reducing visibility,” the Skin Cancer Foundation says.

The Skin Cancer Foundation has developed several consumer-facing articles on its website that is available to window film dealers for promotional use, including:

Why Use Window Film?

Window Film: Sun Protection for Your Health and Home

Sun Safety for Your Cars

And a free .pdf is available for dealers to hand out at their shops. You can find that here.

At the 2016 International Window Film Conference and Tint-Off™, former Surgeon General Boris D. Lushniak will speak on the dangers of UV exposure, highlighting the risk through automotive glass. To register for the event and to hear him speak in San Antonio, click here.

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