Outdoor workers who occupationally spend large periods of time exposed to ultraviolet irradiance are at increased risk of developing certain types of non-melanoma skin cancer in addition to being prone to erythema and eye damage. UV exposure to workers is affected by a number of factors including geographic location, season, individual biological factors and the local surroundings. Urban environments can provide surrounds that contain surfaces that reflect UV radiation which can enhance UV exposure to construction workers, in both the vertical as well as horizontal plane. However it was unknown how different constructed configurations of the surfaces may additionally influence UV exposure for a worker, such as corners opposed to walls.
This study shows that for highly UV reflective surfaces the influence on erythemal UV exposure is approximately the same regardless of constructive type, but there is statistically significant difference observed for lower UV reflecting surfaces in conjunction with constructive type. This is comparable to influence of body site on relative UV exposure, and together may provide a method that may assist in reduction in UV exposures. Regression analysis provides a more effective means to determine a UV reflective factor for a surface type, than previously used averaging methods.
Additionally, this knowledge may be used by workers, workplaces and advisory bodies to assist with developing further protective strategies that aim to provide more moderate UV exposures to outdoor workers.
Turner, J. and Parisi, A.V., 2013. Influence of reflected UV irradiance on occupational exposure from combinations of reflective wall surfaces. Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, 12(9), pp.1589-1595.
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