Suberythemal Sun Exposures at Swedish Schools Depend on Sky Views of the Outdoor Environments - Possible Implications for Pupils' Health

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Peter Pagels, Ulf Wester, Margareta Söderström, Bernt Lindelöf, Cecilia Boldemann

More scheduled outdoor stay is increasingly advocated for school children. This study measured 2nd, 5th and 8th graders' erythemal UV-exposure in September, March and May at four Swedish schools. We related those exposures, as fractions of total available ambient radiation, to the schools outdoor environments differing in amount of shade, vegetation, and peripheral city-scape quantified as percentage of free sky view calculated from fish-eye photographs. Exposures correlated with the sky views (with exceptions in May) and were suberythemal. The exposures were also below the threshold limit of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) for hazard evaluation of UVR but were potentially enough for adequate Vitamin D formation according to a cited model calculation - as illustrated in the results and discussed. The school environments, typical in southern and middle Sweden, offer enough shade to protect children from overexposure during seasons with potentially harmful solar UV radiation. Pupils' outdoor stay may be extended during September and March. In May extended outdoor stay of the youngest pupils requires a more UVR-protective environment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Volume92
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)201-207
Number of pages7
ISSN0031-8655
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

ID: 179058622