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OZONE DEPLETION AND INCREASE IN ANNUAL CARCINOGENIC ULTRAVIOLET DOSE

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Abstract

Abstract— –An increase in skin cancer incidence due to an increase of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is one of the best quantitated effects of stratospheric ozone depletion. Until now, estimates of effective UV dosages could not be based on spectral data on carcinogenicity. Instead the spectral dependence of sunburn or mutations was used. These data contained little information on longwave ultraviolet radiation (UVA: 315–380 nm). Recently, in hairless mice, experimental data have become available on the carcinogenic effectiveness of the ultraviolet, including UVA. From these new data we can estimate the effect of ozone depletion on the ambient annual carcinogenic UV dose. We find that a 1% decrease in ozone yields a 1.56% increase in annual carcinogenic UV; this value is not strongly dependent on geographical latitude. From this result, combined with the dose-response relationship for UV carcinogenesis, we conclude that for a 1% decrease in total column atmospheric ozone an increase of 2.7% in non-melanoma skin cancer is to be expected.

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