Problem Solver - August 2008
Find a printable version here

Protecting Patrons from UV Rays

People have grown more aware of the dangers of exposure to ultraviolet rays. Concerns about skin cancer—melanoma is one of the most frequent cancers in adolescents and young adults—means your patrons are likely clamoring for a shady spot to sit at your parks, ballfields, playgrounds, pools and other outdoor facilities.

Q: How can I offer immediate protection from the sun's UV rays?

A: People will complain if you leave them out in the sizzling sun and they get sunburned, and the destruction of the ozone layer has unleashed even more UV rays. Many are so concerned about the risk of skin cancer, they avoid the sun altogether.

To offer a quick and economical solution to meet these patrons' needs, a fabric, polyethylene shade canopy is a good choice. It blocks up to 99 percent of UV rays, while keeping patrons cool.

Fabric structures made of polyethylene allow water to pass through. Because of that permeability, hot air doesn't get trapped underneath, so air temperature under the canopy is up to 15 degrees cooler in the summer. Under a hard structure, canvas or vinyl, hot air can become trapped on a still day, making for a stagnant, uncomfortable atmosphere.

Q: How difficult is it to take down the canopies when bad weather threatens?

A: Ask your shade company representatives about how the canopies are attached and removed. Some are so simple that a single person can quickly and easily attach or remove the canopy. This is a lifesaver when bad weather hits, but it's also handy at the opening and closing of the summer season.

Q: What else should I consider when purchasing shade solutions?

A: Warranty and longevity are key considerations. While you might be concerned that a fabric shade structure will be flimsy or may get destroyed, you should be aware that manufacturers offer long, comprehensive warranties to guarantee that those products will hold up.

Fabric shelters are usually less expensive than their wood or metal counterparts, and they feature sturdy metal frames and construction.

Shade Systems Inc.: