Visible and ultraviolet-B ocular-ambient exposure ratios for a general population

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Purpose. To estimate the numerical value of the ocular-ambient exposure ratio (OAER) (ratio of the facial exposure to that on a horizontal plane) as a function of wavelength band, season, and job category and to establish the effect of various modifiers, such as geography and the use of hats, for use in general population studies. Methods. Two hundred sixty-four persons within several job categories representing the jobs in our Salisbury, Maryland, population were instrumented with ultraviolet-B (UVB) and visible band sensors for 1 complete day. Studies were done over all four seasons, both with and without hats. Results. OAERs in the UVB wavelength band generally are higher than in the visible (13% versus 6%), display no significant variation with job category, show a seasonal effect (highest in the winter-spring [18%], lowest in the summer [10%], and intermediate in the fall [14%]), and are reduced 34% by the use of hats. In the visible wavelength band, OAERs are affected weakly by job function, although this variation is not significant, display a seasonal effect with three seasons as in the UVB, and are not affected significantly by the use of hats. In neither the UVB nor the visible portions of the spectrum did the authors find an effect on the OAER due to photophobia or eye color. Conclusions. With the author's exposure model, the authors have at their disposal a valuable too for exploring the relation between UVB, UVA, and visible radiation and a number of age-related eye diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1011
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997


  • cataract
  • dosimetry
  • epidemiology
  • photometry
  • ultraviolet-A
  • ultraviolet-B

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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