Classroom teachers and occupational UV exposure characteristics: Toowoomba and Townsville

Downs, Nathan and Harrison, Simone and Garzon Chavez, Daniel and Parisi, Alfio (2015) Classroom teachers and occupational UV exposure characteristics: Toowoomba and Townsville. In: 3rd International Conference on UV and Skin Cancer Prevention 2015, 7-11 Dec 2015, Melbourne, Victoria.

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Introduction: Personal exposure to solar Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a significant risk factor for the development of both cutaneous melanoma (CM) and non-melanocytic skin cancers (NMSC). UVR dosimeter studies have been invaluable in establishing occupational exposure guidelines for relevant industries, and of considerable interest to relevant workers unions. The occupational UVR exposure standard weighted to the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection spectral standard for workers (and teachers) is 30 Joules per m2 per day (Jm-2).

Methods: We investigated the occupational UVR exposure of teachers from two Queensland cities with contrasting climates. A convenience sample of 57 teachers and teacher-aides were recruited from 6 schools in Queensland (n=3 in Townsville, 19o16’S; n=3 in Toowoomba, 27o30’S). The participants were employed in both Primary and High School settings. Their occupational exposure patterns were documented and UVR dosimeter measurements were undertaken over a 10-day period in late November 2014.

Outcomes: Solar UVR exposure patterns displayed similar trends across schools in both Townsville and Toowoomba and were strongly linked to midday meal-break times. UVR exposures ranged from 0 to 270 minutes per day.
Measured occupationally effective UVR exposures for these teachers and teacher-aides ranged from 0 to 279 Jm-2 per day with 23% of the sample exceeding the occupational UVR exposure standard.

Relevance: Many studies have measured UVR exposure received by Physical Education (outdoor) teachers. This research presents new information on objectively-measured UVR exposure patterns of teachers and teacher-aides in the skin cancer-prone state of Queensland, who are generally identified as being predominantly indoor classroom teachers.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2016 23:23
Last Modified: 06 Jul 2016 05:54
Uncontrolled Keywords: skin cancer; occupation; prevention; teachers; UV exposure
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111716 Preventive Medicine
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111705 Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety
02 Physical Sciences > 0299 Other Physical Sciences > 029999 Physical Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920505 Occupational Health
C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine

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