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Sun Protection

A risk management approach
Brian Diffey


There is adequate evidence that exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a major aetiological factor in human skin cancer, but managing the risk of skin cancer does not necessarily mean avoiding exposure to the Sun's UV rays. Sun Protection differentiates itself from other texts by adopting a risk management approach to determine whether, how, and in what circumstances, harm might be caused, and to explore the feasibility of various strategies in controlling exposure to solar UV radiation. This multi-disciplinary book covers topics from climatology through human exposure to sunlight, as well as biological and clinical effects of UV radiation to physical and chemical strategies for photoprotection.

About Editors

Brian Diffey is Emeritus Professor in Dermatological Sciences at the University of Newcastle, UK. His career was spent in the NHS, where he was Professor of Medical Physics and Clinical Director in the Newcastle Hospitals. His involvement with sun protection has spanned more than 40 years and his interests include the measurement of personal sun exposure, its effects in normal and diseased skin, and ways to minimize excessive exposure, especially through the use of topical sunscreens. He invented both the UVA Star Rating for sunscreens in conjunction with Boots in the UK, and the Critical Wavelength adopted by the Food & Drug Administration in the USA as the sole measure of broad spectrum protection. In 1999 he was awarded the Medal of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists for his contributions to suncare, and in 2011 was honoured at the International Sun Protection Conference for significant innovation in the field of photoprotection. 

Table of Contents




Author biography

1 Introduction to risk management

2 The origin and beneficial effects of solar UV radiation

3 Factors that influence the quality and quantity of terrestrial solar UV radiation

4 Deleterious effects of solar UV radiation exposure on the skin

5 The impact of time and space in moderating human exposure to solar UV radiation

6 Physical barriers to protect humans from solar UV radiation exposure

7 Sunscreens

8 Counteract the damage resulting from solar UV radiation

9 Treating the damage caused by solar UV radiation exposure 


Hardback ISBN: 9780750313780

Ebook ISBN: 9780750313773

DOI: 10.1088/978-0-7503-1377-3

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing


What this book makes clear, is that it is impossible to reason about ultraviolet radiation and human health without a veritable encyclopaedia of details about the natural and human world, and the value of those constants. The author leaves us in no doubt, that if we are going to advise patients and populations on how ultraviolet radiation impacts on their health, we need to be as intimate with the solar constant as the thong bikini.

The book although modest in length covers all that any dermatologist or skin biologist could wish for: the fundamental physics of optical radiation; the problems of measurement; the short and long term effects of UVR on skin; the science behind sun protection; and the changing
geography of human exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

The book is not just suitable for biologists and dermatologists, but will be of interest to physical scientists and those working in the skin care industry (even those in marketing).

Before you next pretend that only UVA penetrates to the dermis, or that it is only UVB that varies seasonally, take a look at the figures in this book. Even Szilard would be happier now, his bath less disturbed: he could use an iPad and the digital version of this book in the bath.

Jonathan Rees 2018 Acta Dermato-Venereologica European Society of Dermatology and Psychiatry (United Kingdom)

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