Research Summary: Risk of Eye Damage from the Wavelength-Dependent Biologically Effective UVB Spectrum Irradiances

ABSTRACT

A number of previous studies have discussed the risk of eye damage from broadband ultraviolet (UV) radiation. As the biologically damaging effectiveness of UV irradiation on the human body is known to be wavelength-dependent, it is necessary to study the distribution of the UV spectral irradiance. In order to quantify the ocular biologically effective UV (UVBE) irradiance exposure of different wavelengths and assess the risk of eye damage, UV exposure values were measured at Sanya, China (18.4° N, 109.7°E, altitude 18 m), using a manikin and a dual-detector spectrometer to measure simultaneously the ocular exposure and ambient UV spectral irradiance data and solar elevation angle (SEA) range (approximately 7°–85°). The present study uses the ocular UV spectral irradiance exposure weighted with the action spectra for photokeratitis, photoconjunctivitis and cataracts to calculate the ocular UVBE irradiance exposure for photokeratitis (UVBEpker), photoconjunctivitis (UVBEpcon) and cataracts (UVBEcat). We found that the ocular exposure to UV irradiance is strongest in the 30°–60° SEA range when ∼50% of ocular exposure to UV irradiance on a summer’s day is received. In the 7°–30° SEA range, all the biologically highly effective wavelengths of UVBEpker, UVBEpcon and UVBEcat irradiances are at 300 nm. However, in other SEA ranges the biologically highly effective wavelengths of UVBEpker, UVBEpcon and UVBEcat irradiances are different, corresponding to 311 nm, 300 nm and 307 nm, respectively.

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Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 20-December-2012

Author(s): Wang F., Gao Q., Hu L., Gao N., Ge T., Yu J., Liu Y.

Link: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0052259

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