ICEPURE: The impact of climatic and environmental factors on personal ultraviolet radiation exposure and human health

New Publication: Validation of self-reported erythema: comparison of self-reports, researcher assessment and objective measurements in sun worshippers and skiers.

Petersen B, Thieden E, Lerche CM, Wulf HC.



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This EC (Framework Programme 7: ENV.2008. Quantification of changing surface UV radiation levels and its impact on human health, Grant No. 227020) project brings photobiologists, dermatologists, immunologists, epidemiologists, physicists and climatologists together from six European countries.

ICEPURE will determine the adverse and beneficial health effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure.

Wristwatch dosimeters, that record levels of UVR, will be worn by volunteers to determine their individual exposure to sunlight over extended periods of time. Satellite and ground station data will be gathered to establish UVR levels at the locations where participants are wearing the dosimeters. The wristwatch dosimeter data will be combined with data from a diary that participants keep of their daily behaviour, along with satellite data (i.e cloud cover) and UV measurements taken on the ground. This combined data will be used to show the influence of behavioural, meteorological, environmental and cultural factors on an individuals UVR exposure. Participants in this study will include farmers working in northern and southern Europe. They will also include people on holiday in different situations such as on the beach and in snow situations when skiing. Measurements will take place in four different countries and will also include studies measuring childrens exposure.

Using the personal exposure data combined with satellite and ground station data we will develop more accurate models to assess the impact of climate change on future UVR exposure to European populations.

We will also determine the effect of UVR exposure on DNA damage and the bodies immune system. Furthermore, the relationship between UVR exposure and vitamin D status will be determined, thus enabling a direct correlation between risk factors and health benefits.

Finally we will also determine how different parts of the UVR spectrum are related to different effects on the body:
1) producing erythema (i.e. skin redness)
2) suppression of the bodies natural immune response
3) production of Vitamin D.

These studies will determine the how important erythema (skin redness) is as a biological indicator for UVR related health outcomes.





King’s College London (KCL)
Bispebjerg Hospital (BBH)
Medical University of Lodz (MUL)
Karolinska Institute (KI)
Center for Research on Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL)
University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna (UVM)
Health Protection Agency (HPA)
Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI)