Some Mercedes, BMW, and Porsche cars 'block less than 60% of UV rays'
UV rays dramatically increase risk of developing cataracts and skin cancer
Study reveals the three best and worst cars for UVA protection
Researchers found that side windows of some Mercedes and BMW models blocked less than 60 per cent of UVA - ultraviolet rays.
Decades of research confirm prolonged exposure to UV light - even when it is cloudy - dramatically increases one's risk of vision damage and cancer.
While windscreens protected drivers from around 98 per cent of UVA, the side windows on cars differed dramatically in their performance.
Tests on 29 cars from 15 manufacturers showed Lexus cars offered best all-round protection, with side-windows stopping between 92 and 96 per cent of UVA.
The worst performing car was the 2009 Mercedes E550 which stopped just 44 per cent of UVA in its side windows.
Meanwhile some newer BMW models only offered 55 per cent side window protection, despite scoring 96 per cent for windscreens.
The 2012 Porsche Turbo S also scored 96 per cent UVA protection for windscreens but 56 per cent for side windows.
Audi's blocked up to 64 per cent of UVA despite their windscreens stopping 96 per cent of harmful rays.
The research was conducted by the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute in Los Angeles, USA, using a portable UVA light meter.
Previous studies have shown that Ultraviolet A (UVA) light exposure on one side of the face can increase the risk of cataract or cancer in that area.
Dr Brian Boxer Wachler, who led the study, raised concerns over the lack of side window protection in top-end cars.
He said: 'We tested 29 automobiles from 15 manufacturers.
'While the front windshields provide a high and consistent level of UVA protection, most side windows are poorly equipped to do so.
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