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Evaluation of promotional gadgets integrating UV patches for public awareness on ultraviolet radiation

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Ultraviolet (UV) patches are included in promotional gadgets advertising the most diverse products. These items are freely distributed to the public as a suggestive instrument of information. This study intends to evaluate the accuracy of these gadgets in providing information about UV exposure as defined by the INTERSUN programme. Methods:

The design of five gadgets, the instructions and advices included, were analysed. The response of the patches has been compared with UV index measurements and related to the guidelines provided by the INTERSUN programme. The objectivity of the response and its interpretation have also been evaluated, comparing the readings by different operators. Results:

The gadgets provide non-standard and ambiguous information, they lack rigorous recommendations on solar protection and have a poor design. Although the patches underestimated UV radiation only a few times, overestimation occurred frequently. Observations pointed out the difficulty in establishing objective readings. Conclusions:

The analysis highlighted the inadequacy of these items. This fact is serious because the gadgets are freely distributed to the public and some of the advertisers are well-known companies. Instead of using these gadgets, the public should pay attention to the information and advice provided by health and weather services.
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Keywords: UV estimation; UV index; UV protection; UV radiation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Publication date: 01 October 2007

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