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Measurement of Solar UVB Variations by Polysulphone Film


  • Posted on the website on 1 July 2003

*To whom correspondence should be addressed at: Unilever Research, 45 River Road, Edgewater, NJ, 07010, USA. Fax: 201-840-8289;


Sheets of polysulphone film have been extensively used as detectors to monitor solar UVB radiation. The advantages of polysulphone detectors are that they are small in size, they have good thermal stability and they are sensitive to UVB radiation. The principal disadvantage of polysulphone detectors is that their spectral sensitivity includes part of the short-wavelength UVA. In this study, we investigate the spectral sensitivity of the polysulphone detector with a series of monochromatic (±2 nm) excitations. We then compare the polysulphone-effective solar radiation with the erythemally effective solar radiation by comparing solar UVB data obtained with polysulphone films with those obtained with a spectroradiometer. From polysulphone data on the seasonal variation of solar UVB radiation, we estimate the corresponding fluctuations of the absorption of the ozone layer. We show that the spectral sensitivity of the polysulphone film is closer to the erythema action spectrum than that indicated by earlier data and that polysulphone detectors can be used to predict the erythema risk of solar UVB. Measurements on solar UVB with polysulphone films and with a spectroradiometer were found to be strongly correlated (R2 > 0.95). Finally, polysulphone-based measurements provide a good measure of the fluctuations of the stratospheric ozone layer.