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Radiat Res. 2008 Mar;169(3):344-9. doi: 10.1667/RR1136.1.

Optimizing solar UV-radiation exposures for vitamin D3: comparing global and diffuse spectral UV radiation.

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  • 1Centre for Rural and Remote Area Health, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Queensland 4350, Australia. turnbull@usq.edu.au


Currently, there is a major gap in the knowledge that is needed to optimize the beneficial effects related to ultraviolet (UV) radiation at wavelengths that induce vitamin D(3) synthesis (UV(D3)) compared to reducing the biologically damaging overexposure to UV radiation. The aim of this study was to investigate the use of diffuse (radiation that is scattered from all directions) UV radiation to optimize exposures to UV(D3) radiation and maximize the reduction of exposure to UVA radiation. Data on global and diffuse solar UV-radiation spectra were collected at 10-min intervals in the Southern Hemisphere in the late spring and summer from 1 November 2006 to 28 February 2007. For a solar zenith angle (SZA) of approximately 5 degrees , the observed maximum UV(D3) irradiances were 0.80 W/m(2) and 0.46 W/m(2) for global and diffuse UV radiation, respectively. The observed maximum UVA irradiances were 79.0 W/m(2) and 36.2 W/m(2) for global and diffuse UV radiation, respectively. For diffuse UV radiation, the maximum ratio of vitamin D(3) to UVA radiation was 1.75% at a SZA of approximately 10 degrees , whereas the maximum ratio for global UV was 1.27% at 10 degrees . For SZAs of 25 degrees and less, more UV radiation is in the wavelength region contributing to vitamin D(3) synthesis (UV(D3)) than in the UVA region for diffuse UV radiation than for global UV radiation.

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