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Schoolyard shade and sun exposure: Assessment of personal monitoring during children's physical activity

TitleSchoolyard shade and sun exposure: Assessment of personal monitoring during children's physical activity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsVanos J.K, McKercher G.R, Naughton K., Lochbaum M.
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Date Published2017/07
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0031-8655
Accession NumberWOS:000404994000023
Keywordsalbedo; Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; Biophysics; body; dosimetry; measurements; melanoma; patterns; preschool environment; surfaces; ultraviolet-radiation; urban; uv exposure

Childhood exposure to ultraviolet radiation ( UVR) is a major risk factor for the development of melanoma later in life. However, it is challenging to accurately determine personal outdoor exposure to UVR, specifically erythemally weighted UVR (UVEry), due to technological constraints, variable time- activity patterns, and the influence of outdoor environmental design. To address this challenge, this study utilized mobile and stationary techniques to examine the UVEry exposures of 14 children in a schoolyard in Lubbock, TX, in spring 2016. The aims of the study were to examine the influence of artificial shade on personal UVEry exposures and to assess full sun exposure ratios (ERs) within the same playground microenvironment. On average, personal wrist dosimeters worn during play in the sun measured 18% of the total onsite UVEry measured by a stationary UV pyranometer. Shade was found to significantly reduce the personal UVEry exposures by 55%, UVB280-315 nm exposures by 91%, and the overall solar radiation by 84%. Substantial benefits can be garnered through focused design of children's recreational space to utilize shade- both natural and artificial-to reduce UVR exposures during play, and to extend safe outdoor stays. Finally, although the wrist is a practical location for a dosimeter, it often underestimates full exposures, particularly during physical activity.

Short TitlePhotochem. Photobiol.
Student Publication: