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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(2), 200; doi:10.3390/ijerph14020200

UV-Radiation: From Physics to Impacts

1
Department for Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna 1090, Austria
2
Institute for Meteorology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna 1180, Austria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 13 February 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2017 / Accepted: 15 February 2017 / Published: 17 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue UV-Radiation: From Physics to Impacts)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [246 KB, uploaded 17 February 2017]

Abstract

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation has affected life at least since the first life forms moved out of the seas and crawled onto the land. Therefore, one might assume that evolution has adapted to natural UV radiation. However, evolution is mostly concerned with the propagation of the genetic code, not with a long, happy, and fulfilling life. Because rickets is bad for a woman giving birth, the beneficial effects of UV-radiation outweigh the adverse effects like aged skin and skin tumors of various grades of malignancy that usually only afflict us at older age. Anthropogenic damage to the stratospheric ozone layer and frighteningly high rates of melanoma skin cancer in the light-skinned descendants of British settlers in Australia piqued interest in the health impacts of UV radiation. A changing cultural perception of the beauty of tanned versus light skin and commercial interests in selling UV-emitting devices such as tanning booths caught public health experts off-guard. Counseling and health communication are extremely difficult when dealing with a “natural” risk factor, especially when this risk factor cannot (and should not) be completely avoided. How much is too much for whom or for which skin type? How even measure “much”? Is it the (cumulative) dose or the dose rate that matters most? Or should we even construct a more complex metric such as the cumulative dose above a certain dose rate threshold? We find there are still many open questions, and we are glad that this special issue offered us the opportunity to present many interesting aspects of this important topic. View Full-Text
Keywords: ultraviolent radiation; health counseling; adverse and beneficial effects ultraviolent radiation; health counseling; adverse and beneficial effects
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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Moshammer, H.; Simic, S.; Haluza, D. UV-Radiation: From Physics to Impacts. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 200.

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