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Author Notes:

Correspondence to: Peter Gies, Senior Research Scientist, Ultraviolet Radiation Section, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, 619 Lower Plenty Road, Yallambie, VIC 3085, Australia. peter.gies@arpansa.gov.au.

We acknowledge contributions of Lucja Bundy, Kristen Burgess, Lucja Bundy, Dawn Hall, Erica Davis, Nicole Dubruiel, Maria Fawzy, and Nancy Marencin for their assistance with data collection and processing.

The authors are grateful to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) which supported the senior author’s use of equipment to analyze the dosimeters.

Subjects:

Research Funding:

Contract grant sponsor: National Cancer Institute; Contract grant number: CA 92505-S1.

Dr. Karen Glanz’s effort was supported in part by a Distinguished Scholar Award from the Georgia Cancer Coalition.

The study was supported by Grant Number CA 92505 from the National Cancer Institute.

Keywords:

  • Adult
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Occupational Health
  • Radiation-Protective Agents
  • Risk-Taking
  • Solar System
  • Sunburn
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • Swimming
  • Swimming Pools
  • Ultraviolet Rays
  • United States

Measured occupational solar UVR exposures of lifeguards in pool settings

Tools:

Journal Title:

American Journal of Industrial Medicine

Volume:

Volume 52, Number 8

Publisher:

, Pages 645-653

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review

Abstract:

Background: The aim of this study was to measure ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposures of lifeguards in pool settings and evaluate their personal UVR protective practices. Methods: Lifeguards (n=168) wore UVR sensitive polysulfone (PS) film badges in wrist bracelets on 2 days and completed a survey and diary covering sun protection use. Analyses were used to describe sun exposure and sun protection practices, to compare UVR exposure across locations, and to compare findings with recommended threshold limits for occupational exposure. Results: The measured UVR exposures varied with location, ranging from high median UVR exposures of 6.2 standard erythemal doses (SEDs) to the lowest median of 1.7 SEDs. More than 74% of the lifeguards' PS badges showed UVR above recommended threshold limits for occupational exposure. Thirty-nine percent received more than four times the limit and 65% of cases were sufficient to induce sunburn. The most common protective behaviors were wearing sunglasses and using sunscreen, but sun protection was often inadequate. Conclusions: At-risk individuals were exposed to high levels of UVR in excess of occupational limits and though appropriate types of sun protection were used, it was not used consistently and more than 50% of lifeguards reported being sunburnt at least twice during the previous year.

Copyright information:

© 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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