To reduce ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure during childhood, shade structures are being erected in primary schools to provide areas where children can more safely undertake outdoor activities. This study to evaluate the effectiveness of existing and purpose built shade structures in providing solar UVR protection was carried out on 29 such structures in 10 schools in New Zealand. Measurements of the direct and scattered solar UVR doses within the central region of the shade structures were made during the school lunch break period using UVR-sensitive polysulfone film badges. These measurements indicate that many of the structures had UVR protection factors (PF) of 4–8, which was sufficient to provide protection during the school lunch hour. However, of the 29 structures examined, only six would meet the suggested requirements of UVR PF greater than 15 required to provide all-day protection.
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Vol. 80 • No. 2