Annual reduction of solar UV exposure to the facial area of outdoor workers in Southeast Queensland by wearing a hat

Authors


Shool of Physics, Queensland University of Technology, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane Q1d 4001, Australia

Abstract

The total annual exposure to erythemally effective UVR was estimated for average work situations in a high exposure environment, viz, farm workers in Southeast Queensland (27.5° S), and the effect of hat usage was examined. If no sun protection is used, the annual erythema exposures for this group of workers at three facial sites: forehead, nose and cheek are 40, 57 and 34 J ṁ cm−2 respectively. If a hat is worn throughout the year, the exposures are reduced to 6, 19 and 20 J ṁ cm−2, respectively. The mean ratio of exposure without the hat to that with the hat (mean protection factor, MPF) was found to be 6 for the forehead, 3 for the nose and 2 for the cheek. The risk of non-melanoma skin cancers without the protection of the hat is estimated to increase by up to 100 times for basal cell carcinomas and 13 times for squamous cell carcinomas for a whole year of exposure.

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