Heat shields provide vital UV protection
A TEST conducted by the University of KwaZulu- Natal confirms that heat or solar shield films dramatically cut the level of cancer- causing exposure to ultra- violet rays for drivers.
Agrometeorologist Dr Alistair Clulow tested the ability of heat sheets to stop ultra- violet ( UV) rays on both the arms and face of drivers.
He conducted the tests using two white Polo Classics supplied by Barons, while Autowash supplied the heat shield film.
One of the Polos had a heat shield film, also sold as solar film, affixed to the windscreen. The cars were parked facing north at about midday on March 24, and the air temperature was measured just above the dashboard.
In his report, Clulow states: “The outside temperature was approximately 33° C. Air temperatures above the dashboards in both vehicles increased rapidly when the windows were closed but the increase in air temperature above the dashboard in the vehicle with the heat shield was consistently lower than that without a heat shield — 8° C difference after 45 minutes.
“After an hour, the windows were opened slightly and the vehicle with heat shield showed a faster reduction in air temperature above the dashboard, and the interior of the car.”
To measure the dangerous UV rays causing skin cancer from consistent sun on the driver’s arms, he used an SU- 100 Apogee ultra- violet sensor with an open window, behind plain glass and behind plain glass with heat shield, with the sensor angled directly towards the sun.
He said the dangerous UV rays, which can cause skin cancer, were reduced by 99,5% with the heat shield.
“We can conclude from the results that a heat shield reduces the air temperature directly above a dashboard in a vehicle and significantly reduces the UV exposure to the dashboard and occupants of the vehicle. We believe this reduction in UV exposure to be particularly relevant for people spending a great deal of time in a vehicle,” said Clulow.
Several companies in South Africa sell solar or heat shields, including Solar Shield Window Tinting, which is the company that sponsored the University of Johannesburg’s solar- powered car in the Sasol Solar Challenge 2014.
A thin film of solar sheeting can cut dramatically the level of ultra- violet exposure for drivers.