Weekend personal ultraviolet radiation exposure in four cities in Australia: Influence of temperature, humidity and ambient ultraviolet radiation
•We examine the effect of weather conditions on sun exposure behaviour in Australia.•Weather conditions have significant impacts on some sun exposure behaviour.•The impacts of weather conditions differ across four Australian cities.•Temperature and ambient UVR influence on sun exposure behaviour more than humidity.
PurposeTo examine the effects of meteorological factors on weekend sun exposure behaviours and personal received dose of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) in Australian adults.MethodsAustralian adults (n = 1002) living in Townsville (19°S, 146°E), Brisbane (27°S, 153°E), Canberra (35°S, 149°E) and Hobart (43°S, 147°E) were recruited between 2009 and 2010. Data on sun exposure behaviours were collected by daily sun exposure dairies; personal UVR exposure was measured with a polysulphone dosimeter. Meteorological data were obtained from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology; ambient UVR levels were estimated using the Ozone Monitoring Instrument data.ResultsHigher daily maximum temperatures were associated with reduced likelihood of wearing a long-sleeved shirt or wearing long trousers in Canberra and Hobart, and higher clothing-adjusted UVR dose in Canberra. Higher daily humidity was associated with less time spent outdoors in Canberra. Higher ambient UVR level was related to a greater clothing-adjusted personal UVR dose in Hobart and a greater likelihood of using sunscreen in Townsville.ConclusionThe current findings enhance our understanding of the impact of weather conditions on the population’s sun exposure behaviours. This information will allow us to refine current predictive models for UVR-related diseases, and guide future health service and health promotion needs.
Journal: Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology - Volume 143, February 2015, Pages 74–81