Research Letter Suggests Handheld Umbrella Useful for Blocking UV Rays



 In a research letter, Josette R. McMichael, M.D, of the Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, and colleagues examined the amount of UV radiation (UVR) that penetrates a handheld umbrella (HU). (Online First)

 The authors collected 23 umbrellas, and in an open area under a cloudless sky, a meter to measure both UV-A and UV-B radiation was used to measure UVR penetration of the umbrellas. Two measurements were taken with the meter aimed directly toward the sun while holding each umbrella in 2 standard positions. The umbrella canopy diameters ranged from 61 to 127 cm, with the majority ranging between 81 and 99 cm. The UV index on the day of the study was 8 (very high exposure). The umbrellas blocked between 77% and 99% of UVR. 

“All of the black umbrellas blocked at least 90%…other colors, especially white did not perform as well…our data suggests that the average rain HU is a useful adjunct, and black may be a preferable color,” the authors notes.

(JAMA Dermatol. Published March 20, 2013. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2013.2519.