Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (IFA), Sankt Augustin, Germany
Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
IntroductionWe are exposed to solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) every day, during work and leisure time. To date, there is only little knowledge about the level of irradiance. Already in 1992, UVR has been graded a group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). In an ageing society, along with an ideal of a brown skin, non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) incidence rates rapidly increase.MethodsFor risk assessment and deduction of protective measures, real measured data serve best. Regarding solar UVR exposure, long-term personal dosimetry measurements is required. With GENESIS-UV, we designed a suitable system. With only little impairment, each test persons measures autonomously. Data are transferred via mobile service or internet to a data server once a week automatically. GENESIS-UV has proven to be feasible in collaborations in the whole world without any changes in the system.ResultsSince 2014, about 800 test persons delivered data points representing about 80 000 days of measurement – in Germany. We derived the annual irradiance for more than 100 occupations, and far more occupational activities as well. Interestingly, the irradiance values for the occupations cover a very wide range (http://www.dguv.de/genesis). Going deeper into the occupational activities, prevention-relevant information could be obtained. Since 2016, measurements have been expanded at European level.DiscussionOutdoor workers have to be protected from UVR exposure. During working hours, their exposure can be up to 4.5 times the leisure dose. Our approach from occupations to occupational activities enables us to suggest very distinct protective measures, and drawing a full picture of workers exposure. Particularly, we showed that already short exposure times may lead to a notable hazard. Thus, the definition of an outdoor worker has to be reviewed.The study with GENESIS-UV is by far the largest study on UV irradiance of workers worldwide.