Turnbull, David J. and Parisi, Alfio and van den Ancker, Tania (2006) Development of a photosensitive polymer for measurement of damaging ocular radiation exposures. In: Showcasing Toowoomba Area Health Research 2006, 25 Aug 2006, Toowoomba, Australia. (Unpublished)
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The adverse effects to ocular health caused by exposure to high levels of solar radiation are of great concern and can result in the severe degradation of vision capabilities. Solar radiation in the blue part of the spectrum (effectively 380 to 550 nm) is found to trigger a reaction in the eye and has been characterized by the blue light hazard. This blue light photochemical injury to the human retina is termed photoretinitis. Photoretinitis can result from either viewing an extremely bright light source for a short amount of time or a less bright source for a longer period of time. Excessive exposure to harmful blue light radiation is linked to the increased risk of macular degeneration in humans. Age related macular degeneration is recognised as the leading cause of severe blindness in the Australian population. Therefore, it is essential to decrease any exposure to damaging blue light radiation that the population experiences. Quantification of the individual level of radiation exposure requires personal dosimetry that takes into account changes in the position and orientation of people compared to the light sources. A prototype photosensitive polymer is currently being developed that can be used for the measurement of blue light exposures to humans. The prototype polymer only responds to wavelengths associated with the blue light hazard and is expected to be a useful tool for measuring radiation associated with the blue light hazard.
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