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Int J Biometeorol. 2002 Aug;46(3):150-6. Epub 2002 Jun 18.

Comparison of the solar spectral ultraviolet irradiance in motor vehicles with windows in an open and closed position.

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  • 1Centre for Astronomy and Atmospheric Research, Faculty of Sciences, University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia.


The solar ultraviolet (UV) spectrum was measured by a spectroradiometer located inside two common Australian vehicles: a family wagon and a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The entrance optics of the spectroradiometer was orientated, in turn, on a horizontal plane, towards the driver and passenger windows and towards the windshield. UV spectra were recorded when the vehicles' windows were in an open and closed position. For a typical Australian family wagon, on a horizontal plane inside the vehicle, closing the windows decreased, the total UV irradiance by a factor of 3.2, whilst in a four-wheel drive the irradiance decreased by a factor of 2.1. In order to reduce the likelihood of developing of UV-related eye and skin disorders, drivers should use appropriate UV protection whilst driving a vehicle with the windows in an open position. Results gained from this research provide new findings on the exposure of humans to UV in a vehicle.

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