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Outdoor Exposure to Solar Ultraviolet Radiation and Legislation in Brazil

Silva, Abel A.

doi: 10.1097/HP.0000000000000489
Papers

Abstract: The total ozone column of 265 ± 11 Dobson Units in the tropical-equatorial zones and 283 ± 16 Dobson Units in the subtropics of Brazil are among the lowest on Earth, and as a result, the prevalence of skin cancer due to solar ultraviolet radiation is among the highest. Daily erythemal doses in Brazil can be over 7,500 J m−2. Erythemal dose rates on cloudless days of winter and summer are typically about 0.147 W m−2 and 0.332 W m−2, respectively. However, radiation enhancement events yielded by clouds have been reported with erythemal dose rates of 0.486 W m−2. Daily doses of the diffuse component of erythemal radiation have been determined with values of 5,053 J m−2 and diffuse erythemal dose rates of 0.312 W m−2. Unfortunately, Brazilians still behave in ways that lead to overexposure to the sun. The annual personal ultraviolet radiation ambient dose among Brazilian youths can be about 5.3%. Skin cancer in Brazil is prevalent, with annual rates of 31.6% (non-melanoma) and 1.0% (melanoma). Governmental and non-governmental initiatives have been taken to increase public awareness of photoprotection behaviors. Resolution #56 by the Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária has banned tanning devices in Brazil. In addition, Projects of Law (PL), like PL 3730/2004, propose that the Sistema Único de Saúde should distribute sunscreen to members of the public, while PL 4027/2012 proposes that employers should provide outdoor workers with sunscreen during professional outdoor activities. Similar laws have already been passed in some municipalities. These are presented and discussed in this study.

*Instituto de Estudos Avançados (IEAv), Trevo Cel Av José Alberto Albano do Amarante 1, Putim, São José dos Campos, CEP 12.228‐001, SP, Brazil.

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

For correspondence contact: Abel A. Silva, Instituto de Estudos Avançados (IEAv), Trevo Cel Av José Alberto Albano do Amarante 1, Putim, São José dos Campos, CEP 12.228‐001, SP, Brazil, or email at abel@ieav.cta.br.

(Manuscript accepted 15 December 2015)

© 2016 by the Health Physics Society