Sunburn Risk Among Children and Outdoor Workers in South Africa and Reunion Island Coastal Sites


Corresponding author email: (Caradee Y. Wright)


To estimate potential sunburn risk for schoolchildren and outdoor workers, ground-based ambient solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) measurements were converted into possible child (5% of ambient solar UVR) and outdoor worker (20% of ambient solar UVR) solar UVR exposures by skin type and season for three coastal sites: Durban, Cape Point (South Africa) and Saint Denis (Reunion Island, France). Cumulative daily ambient solar UVR levels were relatively high at all sites, especially during summer, with maximum values of about 67, 57 and 74 Standard Erythemal Dose (SED) (1 SED = 100 J m−2) at Durban, Cape Point and Saint Denis respectively. Sunburn risk was evident for both children and outdoor workers, especially those with skin types I and II (extremely to moderately sensitive) during summer, early autumn and/or late spring at all three sites. Although results need to be verified with real-time, instantaneous and nonintegrated personal solar UVR measurements, this understanding of sunburn risk is useful for initiating the development skin cancer prevention and sun protection awareness campaigns in both countries.