Neck tube worn on construction worker, showing poor visibility.

Why Seamlesss Head Scarves fall short in the Outback

Polyester "seamless head scarves" like this have many uses, but fall short of adequate protection in the Outback.

What are seamless head scarves?

You may recognise seamless head scarves from brand names like Headsox and Buff.  They may also be marketed as tube scarves, magic scarves or "multi function headwear". Many similar companies provide seamless, polyester fabric headwear that can be worn in many configurations. They are often seen on solar construction sites, mining sites, with local tradies and fishermen. While these are good products, they are not designed to be a piece of PPE for the harsh environment of the Australian Outback.

UV Protection

UV ratings of the fabric vary widely and are generally low, and rarely certified by a governmental testing body like ARPANSA. Often head scarves are mass produced in the same factory, and different marketing teams may assign an "SPF" Rating.  An SPF rating on a piece of fabric is a red flag!  SPF ratings are only used for sun cream products.  Sun  protection fabric should be listed with a UPF rating and the testing body.  If you are wearing one of these garments, you could be exposed to more UV radiation than you think.

Air Filtration

Seamless head scarves also fall short in air filtration. While they do keep the flies and large chunks of dirt away, fine dust and fumes go right through. Workers operating machinery or near mobile plant are often exposed to intermittent respiratory hazards because the job description doesn't require a full respirator.  Particulate matter, while invisible to the naked eye can lead to devastating results.  The WHO notes that: "Ambient (outdoor air pollution) in both cities and rural areas was estimated to cause 4.2 million premature deaths worldwide in 2016 " 


We are developing a new mask with the highest UPF rating available, with the options to provide flexible levels of dust and fume protection. -Outback Mask.
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