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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(10), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph14101142

Sun Exposure, Sun-Related Symptoms, and Sun Protection Practices in an African Informal Traditional Medicines Market

1
Environment and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, 1 Soutpansberg Road, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
2
Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
3
Biostatistics Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Durban 70380, South Africa
4
Environment and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Houghton 2041, South Africa
5
Environmental Health Department, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg 2094, South Africa
6
School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
7
Environment and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Durban 4091, South Africa
8
Discipline of Occupational and Environmental Health, University of KwaZulu-Natal, KwaZulu-Natal 4041, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 11 September 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Environmental Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [294 KB, uploaded 28 September 2017]

Abstract

Informal workers in African market trade have little formal protection against sun exposure. We aimed to examine sun exposure, sun-related symptoms, and sun protection practices in an informal occupational setting. Trained fieldworkers asked 236 workers in the Warwick Junction market about their workplace, skin and eye sensitivity and skin colour, symptoms faced at work during the summer due to heat, and preventive measures. Data were analyzed using univariate logistic regression to assess the effect of gender and the risk of experiencing symptoms to sun exposure in relation to pre-existing diseases and perception of sun exposure as a hazard. Of the 236 participants, 234 were Black African and 141 (59.7%) were female. Portable shade was the most commonly used form of sun protection (69.9%). Glare from the sun (59.7%) and excessive sweating (57.6%) were commonly reported sun-related health symptoms. The use of protective clothing was more prevalent among those who perceived sun exposure as a hazard (p = 0.003). In an informal occupational setting, sun exposure was high. Protective clothing and portable shade to eliminate heat and bright light were self-implemented. Action by local authorities to protect informal workers should consider sun exposure to support workers in their efforts to cope in hot weather. View Full-Text
Keywords: personal sun exposure; South Africa; environmental health; informal occupational workplace; traditional health practitioners personal sun exposure; South Africa; environmental health; informal occupational workplace; traditional health practitioners
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Wright, C.Y.; Reddy, T.; Mathee, A.; Street, R.A. Sun Exposure, Sun-Related Symptoms, and Sun Protection Practices in an African Informal Traditional Medicines Market. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1142.

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