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Occupational Exposure to Solar Radiation at Different Latitudes and Pterygium: A Systematic Review of the Last 10 Years of Scientific Literature

Department of Biomedical, Metabolical and Neurosciences, University of Modena & Reggio Emilia, 41124 Modena, Italy
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15010037
Received: 8 November 2017 / Revised: 19 December 2017 / Accepted: 23 December 2017 / Published: 26 December 2017
Pterygium is a chronic eye disease: among its recognized risk factors there is long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The Sun is the main source of UV exposure: according to the World Health Organization, the Population Attributable Fraction of pterygium due to solar radiation (SR) is 42–74%. Outdoor work can deeply influence the eye exposure to solar UV rays, but, despite this, pterygium is currently not adequately considered as a possible occupational disease in this working category, at least in Europe. For this reason, we performed a systematic review of the scientific literature published in the last ten years (2008–2017) considering the role of outdoor work as a risk factor for pterygium, in order to give new support for the prevention of this UV related disease in workers. We identified 29 relevant papers. Our results show that pterygium prevalence highly increased with latitude and mean annual UV index, and outdoor work is one of the most relevant risk factors, as well as age and male sex, both in high risk and in moderate risk World areas considering the environmental UV levels. Accordingly, pterygium occurring in outdoor workers should be considered an occupational disease. Moreover, our findings clearly support the need of further research on more effective prevention of the occupational risk related to long-term solar radiation exposure of the eye. View Full-Text
Keywords: pterygium; solar ultraviolet radiation; occupational eye exposure; outdoor work; worker health prevention pterygium; solar ultraviolet radiation; occupational eye exposure; outdoor work; worker health prevention
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Modenese, A.; Gobba, F. Occupational Exposure to Solar Radiation at Different Latitudes and Pterygium: A Systematic Review of the Last 10 Years of Scientific Literature. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 37.

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