The purpose of this study was to investigate the reliability of measuring solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) doses with personal UV dosimeters worn on the wrist. Individual solar UVR exposure was measured over one day under standardised conditions (One-day Beach Study), and over an extended period of time with varying UV exposure and activities (Holiday Study). Dosimeters of a UV-sensitive spore-film filter type (VioSpor) were placed on the right wrist and on the top of head of the test subjects. The wrist was chosen as being a practical position for personal dosimetry and the head position as an internal control for maximal personal UV doses. The One-day Beach Study took place in the vicinity of Copenhagen in June 1998 over 5 h and included 11 subjects. The Holiday Study included 9 subjects during a period with a mean of 14 days in Scandinavia and Europe from June to September 1998. The head position received the highest UV dose in all subjects in both studies. In both studies, despite considerable individual variation, the mean wrist dose was the same (50%) of that received on the head, although the wrist dose correlated significantly with head dose (P<0.01) only in the Holiday Study. We conclude that the wrist position is a practical and convenient body site for personal dosimetry, yielding reliable results in group exposure studies.