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Photochem Photobiol. 2011 Nov-Dec;87(6):1474-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-1097.2011.00980.x. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

The value of the ratio of UVA to UVB in sunlight.


The objective of this communication is to present the calculated ratio between UVA and UVB irradiance from sunrise to sunset and under a number of weather conditions. UVA plays an important role in the sun spectrum and a lot of attention has been paid lately regarding the protection of people from UVA. Solar spectra were collected in Kuwait City located at 29.3° North latitude (similar to that of Houston, TX) over a period of 8 months and under various weather conditions. Spectra were collected from 260 nm to 400 nm in 2 nm increments for solar elevation angles from 10° to 90° using a calibrated Optronics Laboratories OL-742 Spectroradiometer. The measurements reported in this study the ratio of UVA (320-400 nm) to UVB (280-320 nm) in solar terrestrial radiation remains essentially constant and equal to 20 for the part of the day when the solar elevation is greater than 60°. Consequently the value of the ratio of solar UVA/UVB should be considered as equal to 20 for studies in photobiology and photomedicine. When the wavelength limiting the range of UVA and UVB is 315 nm (i.e. UVB: 280-315 nm and UVA: 315-400 nm) the ratio of UVA to UVB becomes equal to 41.

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