Study on Assessment of Levels of Ultraviolet A Light Protection in Auto Windshields and Side Windows

s_cover_e0516The JAMA Opthalmology Journal  has published a new study entitled, “Assessment of Levels of Ultraviolet A Light Protection in Automobile Windshields and Side Windows.” It was released on May 12, 2016. The study focuses on the impact of ultraviolet light streaming through a vehicle’s window on drivers and their passengers. Read the full study.  These new conclusions provide further supporting evidence of the importance and benefits of automotive window film.


Importance  Ultraviolet A (UV-A) light is associated with the risks of cataract and skin cancer.

Objective  To assess the level of UV-A light protection in the front windshields and side windows of automobiles.

Design  In this cross-sectional study, 29 automobiles from 15 automobile manufacturers were analyzed. The outside ambient UV-A radiation, along with UV-A radiation behind the front windshield and behind the driver’s side window of all automobiles, was measured. The years of the automobiles ranged from 1990 to 2014, with an average year of 2010. The automobile dealerships were located in Los Angeles, California.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Amount of UV-A blockage from windshields and side windows. The average percentage of front-windshield UV-A blockage was 96% (range, 95%-98% [95% CI, 95.7%-96.3%]) and was higher than the average percentage of side-window blockage, which was 71% (range, 44%-96% [95% CI, 66.4%-75.6%]). The difference between these average percentages is 25% (95% CI, 21%-30% [P < .001]). A high level of side-window UV-A blockage (>90%) was found in 4 of 29 automobiles (13.8%).

Conclusions and Relevance  The level of front-windshield UV-A protection was consistently high among automobiles. The level of side-window UV-A protection was lower and highly variable. These results may in part explain the reported increased rates of cataract in left eyes and left-sided facial skin cancer. Automakers may wish to consider increasing the degree of UV-A protection in the side windows of automobiles.



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