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Occupational UV Exposure in French Outdoor Workers

Boniol, Mathieu PhD; Koechlin, Alice Ing; Boniol, Magali MSc; Valentini, Faustine MA; Chignol, Marie-Christine MSc; Doré, Jean-François PhD; Bulliard, Jean-Luc PhD; Milon, Antoine MSc; Vernez, David PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2015 - Volume 57 - Issue 3 - p 315–320
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000354
Original Articles

Objectives: Occupational ultraviolet (UV) exposure was evaluated in a population-based sample in France.

Methods: A random survey was conducted in 2012 in individuals aged 25 to 69 years. The median daily standard erythemal UV dose (SED) was estimated from exposure time and place and matched to satellite UV records.

Results: A total of 889 individuals were exposed to solar UV with highest doses observed among gardeners (1.19 SED), construction workers (1.13 SED), agricultural workers (0.95 SED), and culture/art/social science workers (0.92 SED). Information and communication technology, industry, and transport workers were highly exposed (>0.70 SED). Significant factors associated with high occupational UV exposure were sex (P < 0.0001), phototype (P = 0.0003), and taking lunch outdoors (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: This study identified not only expected occupations with high UV exposure but also unexpected occupations with high exposures. This could serve as a basis for future prevention.

From the University of Strathclyde Institute of Global Public Health (Prof Boniol and Ms Koechlin); International Prevention Research Institute (Prof Boniol, Ms Koechlin, Ms Boniol, and Ms Valentini); Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Lyon (Ms Chignol and Dr Dore), UMR Inserm U1052-CNRS U5286, France; Cancer Epidemiology Unit (Dr Bulliard), Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, Lausanne University Hospital; and Institute of Work and Health (IST) (Mr Milon and Dr Vernez), University of Lausanne and Geneva, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Address correspondence to: Mathieu Boniol, PhD, International Prevention Research Institute, 95 cours Lafayette, 69006 Lyon, France (

This work was supported by a research grant from ANSES N.EST-2011/1/075 (principal investigator: David Vernez).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2015 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine