• Sunny days ahead

    Sunny days ahead

    Eighty. That’s the minimum percentage of solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) that outdoor workers in South Africa are exposed to daily. A study conducted by the South African Journal of Science in the country’s capital Pretoria, found that the city experiences considerable UVR levels due to a combination of its low latitude (22°S to 35°S) and relatively clear skies.

    Measurements taken over a two-day period during autumn 2013 – using a handheld ultraviolet index (UVI) meter calibrated against a science-grade biometer at the South Africa Weather Service in Pretoria – showed that UVR levels ranged from 0 UVI to 4.66 UVI. It was estimated that potential exposure regularly exceeded the 80% mark.

    While skin type plays a role, it’s no secret that overexposure to solar UVR can lead to adverse health conditions – including skin cancer. It’s therefore safe to say that the outdoor workforce could be at considerable risk.

    21 July 2015
    Images: Gallo/GettyImages