Authors: Moldovan HR, Wittlich M, John SM, Brans R, Tiplica GS, Salavastru C, Voidazana ST, Duca RC, Fugulyan E, Horvath G, Alexa A, Butacu AI
Occupational exposure to solar UV radiation (SUVR), a Group 1 carcinogen according to the IARC classification is at high exposure levels in outdoor construction workers, usually above the suggested occupational limits. Furthermore, there are no regulations related to this exposure in the EU, except for the artificial UVR. Also, the use of the ICNIRP exposure guideline in an outdoor setting poses problems of adequate dose assessment.
In this context, the main purpose of the study was to perform direct measurements of the SUVR dose in outdoor workers from the construction sector, using individual SUVR dosimeters (GENESIS-UV system), for a period of 7 months, from April to October, in a prospective, observational study in two groups of 10 outdoor workers in Romania, located at two different geographic sites.
In term of cumulative standard erythema dose (SED), our study population of outdoor construction workers received high levels of solar UV radiation, ranging from 165 SED to 453 SED during 7 months of occupational activity, from April to October.
Our results, ranging from 1.28 SED (standard erythema dose) per day to 6.4 SED per day pose an alarm signal to the national and European health authorities to take preventive action for outdoor workers, as the ICNIRP suggested limit value of 1.33 SED for mean daily erythemal UV exposure is vastly exceeded.
We suggest that personal dosimetry for SUVR, from simple devices to complex systems as GENESIS-UV should be regularly and mandatory used in outdoor workers, similarly to the usage of personal dosimetry in occupational exposure to ionizing radiations, which could be included in European and national legislation to reduce both, the level of exposure and the detrimental effects on outdoor