Public on-line information on solar UV irradiance based on spectrometric measurements in a sea resort.

11 November 1997


People in the northern midlatitudes receive most of their UV-dose during leisure time activities, in particular during summer vacation. For this reason, a sea resort is the right place to inform people about UV radiation and to make the general public aware of the risks associated with an overexposure to the sun’s rays.

In the seaside resort of Westerland on the North Sea island of Sylt an on-line information system has been installed to present current values of the UV radiation to the public. Solar ultraviolet radiation is measured by a double monochromator spectroradiometer. The measured spectra are evaluated on-line. The results are transferred by telephone-modem to a 33” presentation monitor, which is located in the busy main lobby of the seaside resort’s administration building, where people come to check in and out. A series of moving screen pages provide information about the current UVA, UVB and the erythemally effective solar irradiance. One screen shows the course of the erythemal irradiance during the day to inform the people about the general pattern of the UV radiation. The information display includes a forecast of the expected UV index of the respective day. Moreover, the recommended length of sun exposure, that will not cause a sunburn, is given for the different skin phototypes. These values are supplemented by general meteorological data like air temperature, wind speed and direction and air pressure. A flyer provides further background information.

The purpose of the information system is to help the general public to learn how to behave responsibly in the sun and in the long run to prevent cancer and premature ageing of the skin.


Stick, C., Pielke, L., Hundhausen, E. and Harms, V., 1997. Public on-line information on solar UV irradiance based on spectrometric measurements in a sea resort. In Skin Cancer and UV Radiation (pp. 59-64). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

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Category: Medical & Pharmaceutical

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