Techniques for Solar Dosimetry in Different Environments

Alfio V. Parisi, David J. Turnbull, Peter Schouten, Nathan Downs and Joanna Turner

Centre for Rural and Remote Area Health, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba Queensland, Australia 4350 E-mail: [email protected]

Abstract Minimization of solar UV exposures is necessary to reduce the risks of detrimental sun-related effects caused by overexposure to sunlight and vitamin D deficiency related diseases. Furthermore, agricultural production can be influenced by changes in solar UV and visible radiation due to atmospheric variability. Consequently, there is a requirement for a full understanding of the solar radiation environment. This chapter describes the development of dosimetric techniques for the measurement of solar UV exposures in different conditions in order to provide an improved characterization of the solar radiation environment for humans and plants. The erythemal exposures during normal daily activities and the effectiveness of UV protective strategies have been measured with polysulphone dosimeters. These dosimeters have also been miniaturized in order to increase the number of environments in which they can be used. Additionally, polysulphone dosimeters have been employed with appropriate calibration to evaluate the pre-vitamin D3 effective UV exposure on humans, along with the UVB (280 nm - 320 nm) exposures to plant leaves. The dynamic range of polysulphone has been extended by the development of a dosimeter that is based on polyphenylene oxide with a dynamic range that is approximately four times longer than that of polysulphone.

Keywords UV, dosimeter, polysulphone, PPO, erythema, plants

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