17-18 October 2005, Munich, Germany

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ICNIRP was pleased to organize the "International Workshop on UV exposure guidance", 17-18 October 2005, Munich, Germany. The Workshop was hosted by the German Radiation Protection Office (BfS) and co-sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU), WHO and EuroSkin. The proceedings are published in the Journal "Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology", 92(1); July 2006 - ISSN 0079-6107.

Rational: UV-exposure is well recognized as the main cause of skin cancer. As a consequence, sun protection is required at times and locations where the UV radiation levels are high. Many international and national public health programmes are engaged in sun protective measures in order to reduce the risk of skin cancer. This is of utmost importance in countries where the incidence of skin cancer has been increasing mainly due to changing recreational activities and behaviour.

Small amounts of sun exposure are essential to good health. Vitamin D, which is produced in the skin by exposure to ultraviolet B, regulates calcium levels in the blood and is needed for bone and musculoskeletal health. Only recently, some epidemiological studies supported the beneficial effects of sun exposure by revealing a link between a number of cancers and low Vitamin D levels. The studies suggest that sun exposure might reduce the risk of certain cancers or increase the survival rates. Even if the mechanisms underlying the observed associations are not yet known, it is necessary to work on a balance between avoiding skin cancer and maintaining optimal vitamin D status.

It has been estimated, that most people in most countries achieve adequate Vitamin D levels by normal outdoor activities. However, studies on the quantitative relationship of sun exposure and Vitamin D synthesis are rare. Increasing age and dark skin types are frequently correlated with Vitamin D deficiency.

The workshop brought together experts in the field of radioprotection and Vitamin D. The contributions of the invited speakers are published as Proceedings in the Journal "Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology", 92(1); July 2006 - ISSN 0079-6107.

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