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Comparative study on the effect of solar radiation on workers' skin at different altitudes


1.1    Background: Chronic sun exposure causes significant changes in human skin that include photoaging, precancerous and cancerous lesions. The effect of sunlight exposure on outdoor workers at different altitudes has not been studied yet. For every 300 meters above sea level the ultraviolet radiation increases by 4%. Greece has a great diversity in its geography with a dominant presence of mountains and its long coastlines. A large part of the population lives and works exposed to solar radiation throughout the year, such as farmers, stock breeders, fishermen, builders and also tourism workers.
1.2    Methods: This study presents the analysis of data referred to chronic sun exposure in two different population samples of outdoor workers: one mountainous and the other coastal.
1.3    Results: Most of the workers in the total cumulative sample do not use sunscreen during their outdoor work. The surveyed outdoor workers are exposed to the sun for many hours. The effects of photo aging are obvious as expected in both groups, but the islanders' group suffered more damage than those in the mountainous area. In contrast, the presence of precancerous and cancerous lesions on the skin of both populations related to the UV radiation is almost the same.
1.4    Conclusions: Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet radiation at higher altitudes, which is stronger than exposure to sea level, does not produce significant more side effects on photoaging, precancerous and cancerous lesions.



outdoor workers, skin cancer, photoaging, ultraviolet radiation, altitudes, sunlight radiation, upper chest, lower extremities, elastosis