Many Americans spent a good portion of the Memorial Day holiday outside, enjoying the sun and warm temperatures. Today they are back at work but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still being exposed to sunlight.

Office workers located in direct sunlight near windows are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, a known human carcinogen.

To reduce the risk of developing melanoma, the Melanoma International Foundation (MIF) recommends avoiding direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

“There is plenty of evidence of the damage caused by UV even through windows for people spending large portions of their day exposed to direct sun light, even on the inside, such as at a desk,” said Bill Strickland, national market manager of sun control products at Phifer, a leading supplier of shade fabrics. “Shading is a great way to reduce sun exposure, potential skin damage, melanoma cancer, and other skin-related problems.”

Many of our Phifer fabrics bear the MIF seal of approval. They have passed a series of rigorous independent tests and have been reviewed by a committee, including physicians and melanoma experts. Phifer fabrics that block 90% or more of UV rays bear the seal of approval.

“To earn our seal of approval, a product must validate it is effective in preventing sun damage to the skin or eyes,” the foundation’s website states. “The manufacturer must provide scientific testing data from an independent laboratory. The laboratory must be a separate entity from the manufacturer.”

The following Phifer fabrics have the seal of approval and are available on Draper window shades:

  • SheerWeave Infinity 2
  • SheerWeave BASIC 3% / 5%
  • SheerWeave SW1000
  • SheerWeave SW 2000 / 2100
  • Performance+ 2390 / 2410 / 2500
  • SheerWeave SW 2360 / 2390 / 2410 / 2500
  • SheerWeave SW 2701 / 2703 / 2705 / 2710
  • SheerWeave SW 3000
  • SheerWeave PW 4000 / 4100 / 4400 with Dow Ecolibrium
  • SheerWeave PW 4500 / 4600
  • SheerWeave PW 4550 / 4650
  • SheerWeave PW 4800
  • SheerWeave SW 5000
  • SheerWeave SW 7000
  • SheerWeave SW 7100
  • SheerWeave SW 7500
  • SheerWeave SW 7400 / 7450
  • 7600/7650

Shades with other fabrics from Phifer and Mermet USA—particularly blackout fabrics and those with low openness factors—can also help, although they haven’t been submitted to the MIF for approval.

For solar reflectance and other technical details on all our shade fabrics, click here.

To learn more about melanoma, and about shade fabrics and other products with the MIF seal of approval, click here to visit their website.