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J Photochem Photobiol B. 2004 Oct 25;76(1-3):41-7.

Annual variation of the angular distribution of the UV beneath public shade structures.

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  • 1Centre for Astronomy, Solar Radiation and Climate, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba 4350, Australia.


Local governments provide many shade structures at parks and sporting ovals for public use. However, the question remains of how effective are public shade structures at reducing biologically effective UV radiation throughout the year? Broadband measurements of the angular distribution of scattered UV beneath three specific public shade structures was conducted for relatively clear skies and for a solar zenith angle (SZA) ranging from 13 degrees to 76 degrees. The ultraviolet protection factors (UPF) for the shade structures ranged from 18.3 to 1.5 for an increasing SZA. Measurements showed that the horizontal plane received the highest SUV levels from the SZA of 28 degrees to 75 degrees, 42 degrees to 76 degrees, and 50 degrees to 76 degrees for the small, medium and large structures, respectively. This was due to the angle of the sun causing the shade created by the shade structure to be outside the structure. For the small shade structure, the measurements directed to the west were the highest levels in the shade after approximately 28 degrees. For the medium and large shade structures, the measurements directed to the west and south were the highest levels in the shade after roughly 42 degrees and 50 degrees, respectively.

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