News You Can Use: Malika tests UV-blocking personal umbrellas

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Exposure to UV rays as a child can haunt you into adulthood. But there are many ways to reduce your risk.

Every time you're in the sun, you put your skin at risk. All it takes is one sunburn to damage skin cells and increase your risk of developing skin cancer.

A quick Google search will help you find the UV index in your region, and there's an index to show you your risk factors.

Sunscreen, sunglasses and avoiding the sun altogether are good ways to protect yourself. But today we put another alternative to the test: the ultraviolet blocking personal umbrella.

"There's two different kinds, UVA and UVB," explained Annie O'Conner Hughes, owner/designer of Umbrellas Hawaii. "This ultra violet protector fabric blocks both UV (rays). One touches the surface of your skin, causes premature aging, brown spots, wrinkles, the other one, UVB, goes all the way down below to the cellular level."

"This is what's been tested, shows that it's been tested and certified by the International UV testing laboratory, simple velcro closure and it just pops right open with a press of a button," said O'Conner Hughes.

The umbrella is certified to block 95 to 97% of UV rays, but we wanted to do a test of our own. So we lent umbrellas to a couple of beachgoers to try it out and give us their verdict.

"It's good, it really blocks out the heat," said beachgoer David Chan. "For the soccer moms to go out, go shopping or go walking around the park because it's nice and light and small, so it's perfect."

Kay Miyabe compared the tropical umbrella to her normal canvas beach umbrella. "Beach umbrellas are usually really big, so this is more portable and you can just carry it around with you," she said. "When I was holding it where the sun, you know where it wasn't shading me, I could feel the heat and where it was it felt nice and cool so I know it's doing the trick."

Protecting your skin and eyes is still very important but the UV blocking umbrella is a great alternative.

Click HERE for a link to the Umbrellas Hawaii website.

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