A 1 week UV-exposure measurement and outdoor-activity pattern survey was conducted for elementary school children for four seasons at five sites in Japan, i.e. Sapporo (43°05′ N, altitude 40 m), Tsukuba (36°05′ N, 20 m), Tokyo (35°40′ N, 45 m), Miyazaki (31°60′ N, 40 m) and Naha (26°10′ N, 5 m), and UV exposure was measured directly and estimated using outdoor-activity records. The study site with largest UV exposure was Miyazaki, a southern rural area. Comparing the results for boys and girls, UV exposure was larger in boys. UV exposure was large in spring and summer and small in winter. The total amount of UV exposure in spring and summer contributed 57.7–73.4% of total exposure for the year. As a whole, 8.1% and 1.8% of the schoolchildren were exposed to more than 1 minimum erythemal dose (MED) and 2 MED of solar UV in a day, respectively. The estimated yearly UV exposure ranged from 49 207 J/m2 in Miyazaki to 31 520 J/m2 in Tsukuba. The actual UV exposure correlated to potential UV exposure, estimated using outdoor-activity records and ambient UV irradiance, but the ratio differed by season and site. The yearly average of percent UV exposure to ambient UV on a horizontal plane ranged from 9.9% in Tokyo to 4.0% in Naha. In the questionnaire survey on outdoor-activity pattern, a short question “How long did you spend time outdoors between 0900 and 1500 h?” gives the best estimates of UV exposure.
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Vol. 81 • No. 2