Extreme UV Index and Solar Exposures at Plateau Rosà (3500 M a.s.l.) in Valle d'Aosta Region, Italy

Sci Total Environ. 2015 Apr 15;512-513:622-630. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.01.049. Epub 2015 Feb 3.


The purpose of this study is to assess personal exposures of skiers at the Alpine site of Plateau Rosà (45.9°N, 7.7°E, 3500 m a.s.l.), in the Valle d'Aosta region, Italy. The campaign was carried out on July 12th, 2011 during the summer ski season. A peak UVI value of 12.3, among the highest in Europe, was recorded on that day. Personal exposures (PE) were quantified using both polysulphone (PS) and poly-dimethyl phenylene oxide (PPO) dosimeters attached vertically to the cap because it is representative of the vertically oriented face of skiers. Exposure ratio (ER) defined as the ratio between PE and the corresponding ambient dose (i.e. erythemally weighted dose received by a horizontal surface) measured by a broad-band radiometer during the same exposure time of the subjects, was used to compare the results with previous studies. Skin color was also measured on the inner upper arm and on the cheek and differences in ITA (Individual Typology Angle) and a* (redness) values before and after exposure, were statistically analyzed. During the exposure period, the median PE (with PS) was 1.47 kJ m(-2) and that obtained by PPO was 1.15 kJ m(-2). The median of the ERs was 0.65 (min: 0.50, max: 0.83) considering the cumulative PS exposure and 0.46 (min: 0.29, max: 0.95) for PPO. An increase in ITAs on the exposed site (i.e. the skin became lighter) was observed after exposure. These results indicate that: a) for some skiers, the exposures were similar to those received on the horizontal plane; and b) the targeted population showed exposures above the occupational threshold limit value (TLV) defined by ICNIRP; c) the use of physical sunscreens which tend to leave a white cast, might have reduced skin color change. Nevertheless possible visible sun-induced skin-color changes could be observed after longer time intervals after exposure.

Keywords: Alpine site; Personal exposure; Poly-dimethyl phenylene oxide; Polysulphone; Ultraviolet radiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Exposure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Radiation Dosage*
  • Sunlight
  • Ultraviolet Rays*