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      Strategic Task and Break Timing to Reduce Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure in Outdoor Workers


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          Objectives: Public health messaging about sun avoidance strategies is often not practical for outdoor workers. The objective of this study was to use personal monitoring data to determine when peak UVR exposure occurs for outdoor workers, estimate how much UVR could be reduced by altering the timing of shady tasks or breaks during peak exposure times, and descriptively compare these to peak periods of ambient UVR. Ultimately, we aim to provide evidence-based sun avoidance recommendations for outdoor workers in British Columbia, Canada.

          Methods: UVR exposure data [standard erythemal dose (SED)] were collected during the 2013 summer months in Vancouver, using personal electronic dosimeters that sampled once per minute for an average of 4.4 working days (range: 1–7 days). Mixed-effect models were used to estimate the 60-, 30-, and 15-min time intervals at which maximum exposure occurred for the months of July and August. Using these time intervals, UVR exposure during peak periods was summarized as SED and as a percentage of the total daily exposure. Ambient UVR was also collected using data from the nearest Brewer spectrophotometer station and parallel analyses were conducted.

          Results: There were 73 workers and 321 participant-days available for analysis. Models indicated that periods of maximum exposure for 15-, 30-, and 60-min intervals began at 12:28, 12:17 pm, and 11:52 am, respectively, for sunny days in July. These periods were similar in August. The median exposure during these time periods and the potential for reducing UVR was 0.03 SED (2.8% potential daily exposure reduction), 0.09 SED (7.1%), and 0.18 SED (15.9%), respectively. However, there was a large range in exposure estimates as some workers experienced up to 84.8% of their exposure in the peak 60-min interval.

          Conclusion: Skin cancer prevention messaging does not include practical messages for outdoor workers and providing times of peak UVR help to identify times when the greatest reductions in exposure can occur. Prevention measures including shady breaks, increased sun protection, and task reorganization during these peak times are recommended during these peak times to reduce UVR exposure among those at highest risk.

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          Most cited references23

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          Adverse effects of ultraviolet radiation: a brief review.

          Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) has always been part of the environment of man. UVB is required for the conversion of 7-deoxycholesterol to vitamin D, which is critically important in the maintenance of healthy bones and research is making clear that it has other potential roles in maintenance of human health. Exposure to UVR, whether of solar or artificial origin, also carries potential risks to human health. UVR is a known carcinogen and excessive exposure-at least to solar radiation in sunlight-increases risk of cancer of the lip, basal cell, and squamous cell carcinoma of the skin and cutaneous melanoma, particularly in fair skin populations. There is also evidence that solar UVR increases risk of several diseases of the eye, including cortical cataract, some conjunctival neoplasms, and perhaps ocular melanoma. Solar UVR may also be involved in autoimmune and viral diseases although more research is needed in these areas. Artificial UVR from tanning beds, welding torches, and other sources, may contribute to the burden of disease from UVR. This brief review will assess the human evidence for adverse health effects from solar and artificial UVR and will attempt to assign a degree of certainty to the major disease-exposure relationships based on the weight of available scientific evidence.
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            Outdoor workers' sun-related knowledge, attitudes and protective behaviours: a systematic review of cross-sectional and interventional studies.

            Sun protection is a major concern for outdoor workers as they are particularly exposed to solar ultraviolet radiation and therefore at increased risk of developing some forms of skin cancer, cataract and ocular neoplasm. In order to provide an overview of outdoor workers' sun-related knowledge, attitudes and protective behaviours as reported in the literature and to evaluate the effectiveness of sun-safety education programmes in outdoor occupational settings, we conducted a systematic review of the literature by searching three electronic databases (PubMed, Embase, PsycINFO) from their inception up to 25 April 2012. An extensive hand search complemented the database searches. We identified 34 relevant articles on descriptive studies and 18 articles on interventional studies. Considerable numbers of outdoor workers were found to have sun-sensitive skin types; sunburn rates per season ranged from 50% to 80%. Data concerning outdoor workers' sun-related knowledge and attitudes were scarce and controversial. The reported sun-protective behaviours were largely inadequate, with many workers stating that they never or only rarely wore a long-sleeved shirt (50-80%), sun-protective headgear (30-80%) and sunscreen (30-100%) while working in the sun. However, there is growing evidence that occupational sun-safety education is effective in increasing outdoor workers' sun-protection habits and presumably in decreasing sunburn rates. Occupational sun-safety education programmes offer great potential for improving outdoor workers' largely insufficient sun-protective behaviours. It is hoped that, in the future, committed support from healthcare authorities, cancer foundations, employers and dermatologists will open the way for rapid and uncomplicated implementation of sun-safety education programmes.
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              Interventions to decrease skin cancer risk in outdoor workers: update to a 2007 systematic review

              Background Outdoor workers are at high risk of harmful ultraviolet radiation exposure and are identified as an at risk group for the development of skin cancer. This systematic evidence based review provides an update to a previous review published in 2007 about interventions for the prevention of skin cancer in outdoor workers. Results This review includes interventions published between 2007-2012 and presents findings about sun protection behaviours and/or objective measures of skin cancer risk. Six papers met inclusion criteria and were included in the review. Large studies with extended follow-up times demonstrated the efficacy of educational and multi-component interventions to increase sun protection, with some higher use of personal protective equipment such as sunscreen. However, there is less evidence for the effectiveness of policy or specific intervention components. Conclusions Further research aimed at improving overall attitudes towards sun protection in outdoor workers is needed to provide an overarching framework.

                Author and article information

                Front Public Health
                Front Public Health
                Front. Public Health
                Frontiers in Public Health
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                04 August 2020
                : 8
                [1] 1Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention Research, Alberta Health Services , Calgary, AB, Canada
                [2] 2Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary , Calgary, AB, Canada
                [3] 3School of Occupational and Public Health, Ryerson University , Toronto, ON, Canada
                [4] 4Department of Dermatology and Skin Science, University of British Columbia , Vancouver, BC, Canada
                [5] 5School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia , Vancouver, BC, Canada
                Author notes

                Edited by: Hans Kromhout, Utrecht University, Netherlands

                Reviewed by: Tran B. Huynh, Drexel University, United States; Marc Wittlich, Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA), Germany

                *Correspondence: Cheryl E. Peters cheryl.peters@ 123456ahs.ca

                This article was submitted to Occupational Health and Safety, a section of the journal Frontiers in Public Health

                Copyright © 2020 Peters, Tenkate, Heer, O'Reilly, Kalia and Koehoorn.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 31 January 2020
                : 22 June 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 4, Equations: 1, References: 32, Pages: 9, Words: 5999
                Funded by: Canadian Dermatology Foundation 10.13039/100007475
                Public Health
                Original Research

                ultraviolet radiation (uv),outdoor workers,exposure assessment (ea),solar uv,occupational cancer


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