Ocular exposure to UV-B in sunlight: the Melbourne visual impairment project model

Bull World Health Organ. 1996;74(4):353-60.


Quantification of ocular exposure to ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) has become an important public health issue, with reports that the ozone layer is being depleted worldwide. Ocular exposure to UV-B is determined by ambient UV-B levels, the duration of outdoor exposure, the proportion of ambient UV-B that reaches the eye, and the use of ocular protection. We have developed a simplified model for quantifying lifetime ocular UV-B exposure that can be used in large epidemiological surveys. Exposure to UV-B is assessed and quantified using a model based on personal exposure over the six summer months. Data available for a population-based sample of 1150 people in the age range 40-98 years revealed a distribution in average annual lifetime ocular UV-B exposure similar to that reported in a previous study on which this model is based, and also demonstrate that people can recall lifetime personal behaviour related to ocular protection. It takes 12 minutes on average to collect these data. This model can be employed by researchers worldwide for uniform assessment of ocular UV-B exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Australia
  • Environmental Exposure
  • Eye / radiation effects*
  • Eye Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Sunlight / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*