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Umbrellas good shields from sun as well as rain: Study

Published on Mar 21, 2013 8:28 AM

(REUTERS) - If it's streaming sunshine outdoors and the sunscreen isn't handy, do as ladies in the past once did and grab an umbrella for shade, researchers say.

According to a United States (US) study published in JAMA Dermatology, any fully-functioning handheld umbrella can block more than three-quarters of ultraviolet (UV) light on a sunny day. Black ones do even better, blocking at least 90 per cent of rays.

"The umbrellas blocked between 77 per cent and 99 per cent of UV radiation," wrote Dr Suephy Chen and colleagues at Emory University in Atlanta.

Noting that umbrellas are widely used for shade in parts of Asia - up to 45 per cent of women in China - as well as the Middle East, the researchers decided to see how well regular umbrellas actually blocked UV light.

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