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Solar UV Radiation in Saint-Denis, La Réunion and Cape Town, South Africa: 10 years Climatology and Human Exposure Assessment at Altitude

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LACy, Laboratoire de l’Atmosphère et des Cyclones (UMR 8105 CNRS, Université de La Réunion, Météo-France), 97744 Saint-Denis de La Réunion, France
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School of Chemistry and Physics, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 4041, South Africa
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Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
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Centre Hospitalier Ouest Réunion, Service Dermatologie, 5 Impasse Plaine Chabier, Le Grand Pourpier Sud, 97460 Saint-Paul, Réunion, France
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Conseil Régional de la Réunion, 5 Avenue René Cassin, Sainte-Clotilde, 97490 La Réunion, France
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Université Lille, CNRS, UMR 8518, Laboratoire d’Optique Atmosphérique, F-59000 Lille, France
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Observatoire des Sciences de l’Univers de la Réunion, UMS3365, 97744 Saint-Denis de la Réunion, France
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SAWS, South African Weather Service, Private Bag X097, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
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Environment and Health Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Atmosphere 2019, 10(10), 589; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos10100589
Received: 5 August 2019 / Revised: 20 September 2019 / Accepted: 26 September 2019 / Published: 1 October 2019
Solar ultraviolet radiation (UVR) monitoring is important since it depends on several atmospheric parameters which are associated with climate change and since excess solar UVR exposure and has significant impacts on human health and wellbeing. The objective of this study was to investigate the trends in solar UVR during a decade (2009–2018) in Saint-Denis, Reunion Island (20.9°S, 55.5°E, 85 m ASL) and Cape Town, South Africa (33.97°S, 18.6°E, 42 m ASL). This comparison was done using total daily erythema exposure as derived from UVR sensors continuously at both sites. Climatology over the 10-year period showed extreme UVR exposure for both sites. Slight changes with opposite trends were found, +3.6% at Saint-Denis and −3.7% at Cape Town. However, these two sites often experience extreme weather conditions thereby making the trend evaluation difficult. Human exposure assessment was performed for hiking activities at two popular high-altitude hiking trails on the Maïdo–Grand Bénare (Reunion) and Table Mountain (Cape Town) with a handheld radiometer. Extreme exposure doses of 64 SED and 40 SED (Standard Erythemal Dose, 1 SED = 100 J.m−2) were recorded, respectively. These high exposure doses highlight the importance of raising public awareness on the risk related to excess UVR exposure at tourist sites, especially those at high altitude. View Full-Text
Keywords: solar ultraviolet radiation; UV index; UV dose; UV assessment; hiking; altitude; La Reunion; South Africa solar ultraviolet radiation; UV index; UV dose; UV assessment; hiking; altitude; La Reunion; South Africa
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Cadet, J.-M.; Bencherif, H.; du Preez, D.J.; Portafaix, T.; Sultan-Bichat, N.; Belus, M.; Brogniez, C.; Auriol, F.; Metzger, J.-M.; Ncongwane, K.; Coetzee, G.J.R.; Wright, C.Y. Solar UV Radiation in Saint-Denis, La Réunion and Cape Town, South Africa: 10 years Climatology and Human Exposure Assessment at Altitude. Atmosphere 2019, 10, 589.

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