A Case Study of UV Exposure Risk in Sydney during the 2019/2020 New South Wales Bushfires

Igoe, Damien P. and Parisi, Alfio V. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8430-8907 and Downs, Nathan J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3191-6404 and Butler, Harry ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1224-2774 (2022) A Case Study of UV Exposure Risk in Sydney during the 2019/2020 New South Wales Bushfires. Photochemistry and Photobiology, 98 (5). pp. 1236-1244. ISSN 0031-8655


During summer of 2019/2020, Sydney, Australia, experienced several days of extreme air pollution and low visibility due to bushfires. This research presents a case study that investigates the erythemal UV irradiance and resulting 1 h erythemal and 8 h actinic exposures during the worst of these days. Air quality, meteorological and UV data used in the analysis were readily available online or by request from governmental agencies. Analysis showed that even for the lowest visibility day (which had a minimum visibility of less than a kilometer) on 10 December 2019, there was a cumulative 1 h erythemal UV exposure of over 4 SED (standard erythema dose) and a cumulative 8 h exposure of 17 SED by the late afternoon. The 1 h exposure exceeded that of a minimum erythemal dose. Even on this extremely hazy day, these cumulative exposures are enough to exceed the recommended daily exposure limit for actinic exposures weighted with the health sensitivity spectrum for the skin and eyes set by the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 47353
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Mathematics, Physics and Computing (1 Jan 2022 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Applied Climate Sciences (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2022 04:11
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2022 03:48
Uncontrolled Keywords: Solar UV radiation, air quality, particulate haze, cumulative UV exposure, UVI, erythema UV, particulate scattering
Fields of Research (2020): 51 PHYSICAL SCIENCES > 5199 Other physical sciences > 519999 Other physical sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280120 Expanding knowledge in the physical sciences
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/php.13603
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/47353

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only