Electronic sun journal may improve knowledge of personal sun exposure

December 20, 2017


Exposure to natural sunlight, specifically solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation contributes to lifetime risks of skin cancer, eye disease, and diseases associated with vitamin D insufficiency. Improved knowledge of personal sun exposure patterns can inform public health policy; and help target high-risk population groups.

Subsequently, an extensive number of studies have been conducted to measure personal solar UV exposure in a variety of settings. Many of these studies, however, use digital or paper-based journals (self-reported volunteer recall), or employ cost prohibitive electronic UV dosimeters (that limit the size of sample populations), to estimate periods of exposure.

A cost effective personal electronic sun journal (ESJ) built from readily available infrared photodiodes is presented in this research. The ESJ can be used to complement traditional UV dosimeters that measure total biologically effective exposure by providing a time-stamped sun exposure record. The ESJ can be easily attached to clothing and data logged to personal devices (including fitness monitors or smartphones).

The ESJ improves upon self-reported exposure recording and is a cost effective high-temporal resolution option for monitoring personal sun exposure behavior in large population studies.


Downs, NJ, et al. An Inexpensive High-Temporal Resolution Electronic Sun Journal for Monitoring Personal Day to Day Sun Exposure Patterns.  Public Health, 16 November 2017. Open Access Article. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2017.00310

« Back to News