Erythemal Ultraviolet Exposure in Two Groups of Outdoor Workers in Valencia, Spain


*Corresponding author email: (Maria Antonia Serrano)


UVexposure is considered to be one of the most important risk factors in skin cancers, mainly in outdoor occupational activities. Outdoor workers receive regular and significant solar UV erythemal radiation (UVER). To quantify the UVER exposure of certain groups of workers, dosimeters are used to measure the biologically effective UV radiation received in the course of their daily work. Two groups of outdoor workers, composed of gardeners and lifeguards, were measured for UVER exposure using sensitive spore-film filter-type personal dosimeters (Viospor). The study took place in Valencia, Spain, in June and July 2008, and involved one group of four gardeners and another of five beach lifeguards for a period of 4 and 6 days, respectively. The gardeners’ mean UV exposure was 4.13 ± 0.60 SED day−1, where 1 SED is defined as effective 100 J m−2 when weighted with the CIE erythemal response function, whereas the lifeguards received 11.43 ± 2.15 SED day−1. The mean exposure ratio (ER) relative to ambient of gardeners was 0.09 ± 0.01 and for lifeguards was 0.27 ± 0.05. ER is defined as the ratio between the personal dose on a selected anatomical site and the corresponding ambient dose on a horizontal plane during the same exposure period. The lifeguards received the highest UVER exposure, although both groups had measured UVER exposure in excess of occupational guidelines, indicating that protective measures are necessary.