Relationship between UVB and erythemally weighted radiation

Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2004 Mar;3(3):252-6. doi: 10.1039/b312985c. Epub 2004 Jan 28.


We discuss the move from reporting damaging UV radiation in terms of UVB to the now widely accepted erythemally weighted UV radiation (UV(Ery)) and the UV Index (UVI). The relationship between these quantities is given: to a good approximation, it is found that UVB(280-315 nm)= 7.55 [times] UV(Ery). In terms of the UV Index, the estimated UVB(280-315 nm) in units of W m(-2) is 18.9 times the UVI. These approximations generally hold to within approximately 10% for all solar zenith angles (sza) less than 70 degrees. For most practical purposes, this is a sufficient range, since for larger sza, the intensity of UVB is less than 10% of that for overhead sun conditions. The simple relationship above is verified using spectral measurements. However, tables are provided to enable calculation of the conversion with greater accuracy under such conditions. Similar model calculations are provided to estimate UVB(280-320 nm). Correction tables to convert erythemally weighted UV to other biological weightings are also presented.

MeSH terms

  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Erythema / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Photobiology
  • Sunburn / etiology
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*