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How much do you know about SPF?

With summer in full swing sales of sun cream are, as expected, on the rise. Much like other products seen as necessities like toilet roll and toothpaste, the market for sun cream is extremely competitive as manufacturers know the product is in high demand by consumers. An on-going issue, highlighted recently by the BBC, is that there's a significantly high level of confusion surrounding the labelling of sun cream. So, do you know what SPF stands for?

The Beebs’ survey on 2,000 UK adults revealed that one in five are unaware ‘the SPF rating does not mean protection against all sun damage – only that from UVB rays’. UVB rays aren’t typically in the everyday repertoire so, when hearing ‘protection against UVA rays has its own separate rating system’, alarm bells may start ringing.

The letters stand for different intensity and wavelength strains with A rays being longer. A rays cause skin-ageing and wrinkles but ‘both UVB and UVA rays from the sun can cause skin cancer’. With SPF only referring to UVB rays, it is worrying to know this does not cover UVA too as some may assume.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society have said manufacturers of these products should all use the same rating - maybe it’s time we utilised a sun cream equivalent to the heavily implemented traffic light system used on food packaging?

As a nation, we buy sun cream to protect our health but what steps do you take to protect your business? Stress can be a huge health risk if you are running a business and things become too much. It’s not just UVA and UVB rays that can cause ill health. We offer a range of services for business from debt recovery (on a no win no fee basis), employment law training and HR assistance to commercial conveyancing and dispute resolution. Why not give your business a legal health check?

The BBC advises consumers to look for the level of UVA protection (denoted by a UVA star rating or the letters UVA inside a circle) and UVB protection (denoted by the SPF). The UVA star rating ranges from nought to five and indicates the percentage of UVA radiation absorbed by the sunscreen in comparison to UVB. So, now you know. For more information on SPF, please follow this link.

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