Solar UVR exposures of indoor workers in a Working and a Holiday Period assessed by personal dosimeters and sun exposure diaries

Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2001 Dec;17(6):249-55. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0781.2001.170601.x.


Background/aim: The aim of this study was to quantify ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure of fully employed indoor workers during a Working Period and a Holiday Period in the summer months. A further aim was to investigate the correlation between individual personal UVR dosimeter reading and self-reported data in a diary about sun exposure habits and to investigate whether skin type, age and gender influence sun exposure.

Methods: The solar UVR, in standard erythema doses (SED) measured by UV sensitive spore-film filter type personal dosimeters (VioSpor), and sun exposure diaries were compared. The study included 44 healthy Danish adult indoor workers during a Working Period of a mean of 13 days and a Holiday Period of a mean of 17 days from June to September.

Results: The individual total UVR exposure correlated significantly (P<0.001) in both the Holiday and Working Periods with individual total hours spent outdoors from 07:00 to 19:00 and with skin area exposure hours. There was no significant correlation between sun exposure dose and gender, age or skin type I-IV, or between the individual solar exposure dose in the Working and the Holiday Period. However, subjects with UVR exposures in the upper quartile spent their Holiday Period in Southern Europe, and/or had been more than the mean time outdoors at the beach/sea and/or between 12:00 and 15:00. Subjects with UVR exposure in the lower quartiles spent their holidays in Denmark or Northern Europe and did not stay at the beach at all. They received an average solar UVR dose which was 22% of ambient in Denmark in the same period while subjects having their holidays in Southern Europe received as much as 90% of the ambient dose in Denmark.

Conclusions: Despite information campaigns to avoid the midday sun, on average 35% of the recorded hours outdoors were spent between 12:00 and 15:00 in the Holiday Period. Total hours outdoors give the best estimate of the total sun exposure dose. Registration in a diary of total hours outdoors and whether the Holiday Period was in Northern or Southern Europe can be used to predict the solar exposure dose in a Holiday Period of a few weeks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Holidays
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiometry* / instrumentation
  • Skin / radiation effects*
  • Sunlight*