Monday, April 4, 2022

Why Carry A Parasol


Did you ever watch NCIS when Abby was on it?  Although she was a tattooed goth, she always carried a parasol to protect her skin when she was out and about.  I've often thought about getting a parasol for me but I wondered if I wanted one more thing to carry around with me and if I wanted to be that different.  In many places, we carry umbrellas in case it rains so why not have a parasol.  The first umbrellas were designed to protect people from the sun, not the rain. 

Although an umbrella and parasol are essentially the same thing, we see an umbrella as having a waterproof skin while the parasol is covered in paper or even lace and the two are different but why not get one you like that can work in both situations. 

There are two huge reasons for adding a parasol to your daily routine.  First, it does a wonderful job of blocking UV rays to up your level of protection.  There is a study out that shows those who use sunscreen in addition to a beach umbrella did so much better than those who simply sat under the umbrella.  One reason for this is that most light sands reflect rays upwards so it is important to use both sunscreen and an umbrella.  No matter, a parasol is great way to avoid solar radiation.

Second, it also provides shade no matter where you are.  This second one is great if you live in a place with few if any trees. In reality, the umbrella/parasol is creating a microclimate that is 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the surrounding area. In Japan, the government ran a campaign designed to get more men to use umbrellas in hot weather which reduced the number of heatstrokes nationwide. 

Unfortunately, even in countries where umbrellas are part of the culture, the majority of the population who regularly use them are women.  Here in the United States, most of us only consider grabbing an umbrella if we are going to the beach or if it is raining even thought it adds that final layer of protection we need.  

If you are thinking of purchasing an umbrella or parasol to use in the sun, it is important to look for one that is designed specifically for use in the sun.  A study compared the use of regular umbrellas with umbrellas designed to be used in the sun and found the ones designed for use in the sun can be up to 99 percent effective compared with the regular umbrellas that performed at 77 percent efficiency.  Remember though 77 percent is quite good especially when combined with a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses. 

If you decide to go with a regular umbrella, look for one with nylon or polyester because these have a decent protection value however, look for black or dark colors because they do better when protecting people from the sun due to their ability to absorb rays.

If you want to get an umbrella that offers UV protection, just go online and check them out.  I went to Amazon and found a nice dual purpose one with great ratings for under $25.00.  I'm going to add it to my daily summer routine.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.  Have a great day.

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