Ocular and dermatologic health effects of ultraviolet radiation
exposure from the ozone hole in southern Chile.
Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology, Wilmer
Eye Institute, Baltimore, Md., USA.
OBJECTIVES. This study sought to investigate numerous
reports emanating from Punta Arenas, Chile (population 110,000, latitude
53 degrees S), that associated acute ocular and dermatologic disease in
humans and animals with excess ultraviolet-B (UV-B) exposure in the
setting of the thinning of the ozone column. METHODS. Ophthalmologic and
dermatologic records in Punta Arenas were systematically reviewed to
enumerate sentinel diagnoses potentially associated with UV-B exposure,
ocular examinations on representative animal populations were performed,
and the ambient UV-B exposure in the region during the time of maximal
thinning was estimated. RESULTS. No increase in patient visits or
conditions attributable to UV-B exposure was seen for periods of known
ozone depletion compared with control periods. Although ambient UV-B
exposure was 1.6 to 2.3 times the habitual exposure on individual days,
this excess exposure conferred only a 1% increase in annual exposure on
the region. CONCLUSION. This study does not support existing lay reports
of ocular and dermatologic disease in humans and animals that had been
associated with the ozone hole over southern Chile.
PMID: 7702120 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]