Overexposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a risk for public health. Therefore, it is important to provide information to the public about the level of solar UV. The UV-Index (UVI) is the relevant quantity, expressing the erythemally weighted irradiance to a horizontal plane on a simple scale.
As solar UV irradiance is strongly variable in time and space, measurements within a network provide the best source of information, provided they can be made available rapidly. However, to ensure the information is reliable, strict quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) procedures for the monitoring networks are necessary.
Near real time presentation of the measured UVI on web-pages is the best way to inform the public. The interpretation of the data in terms of the individual ‘allowable’ exposure time is heavily impacted by skin type, behavior, and clothing, and must be learned for each person through experience and guidance.
Nonetheless, reliable knowledge of the actual level of the intensity of erythemally weighted irradiance and its variability forms the basis of education and public awareness. The challenges and requirements in providing comprehensive UVI data for public health guidance are here considered.
Blumthaler, M., 2018. UV Monitoring for Public Health. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(8), p.1723.
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