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Roslyn Students Present Surprising Findings On Clothing Choices, UV Exposure

ROSLYN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- It's sunscreen season and not only can UV rays cause skin cancer, but they can also result in aging, even under your clothing.

As the summer wardrobe's come out, many people pick whites and light cottons to match warm and sunny days.

As CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reported, the wrong fashion choice can let harmful UV rays get under your clothes.

"When people think of what to wear you assume the clothes are protecting you from the sun," Allyson Weseley, Roslyn High School Science Research Coordinator, explained.

Weseley led a team of 9th graders in science research that's won national recognition.

Four teens measured the rays of a UV light bulb through various fabrics. What they found flew in the face of conventional summer dressing.

"We compared a cotton fabric and a synthetic fabric," Jason Wu explained.

The students found that cotton lets in more UV rays. Closer knit synthetics were more protective.

Wet fabrics provided more protection than dry.

"Moisture causes the fabric to swell and swelling causes the pores to decrease and that allows less light to pass through," 9th grader Vincent Yao explained.

The students also compared colors.

More of the harmful rays passed through light colors like whites and blues than bright, neon, and darker colors.

The research won the students $4,000 each and a trip to Washington in June for a U.S. Army sponsored competition called e-Cybermission.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends tightly woven, bright fabrics. Now, that information is coming from the mouths of babes.

The Roslyn Team is one of 20 national finalists.


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