Body Anatomical UV Protection Predicted by Shade Structures: A Modeling Study

Arianna Religi*, Claudine Backes, Laurent Moccozet, Laurent Vuilleumier, David Vernez, Jean Luc Bulliard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Shade is an important means of protection against harmful effects of sun ultraviolet (UV) exposure, but not all shades are identically protective. UV rays scattered by the atmosphere and surroundings can reach the skin indirectly. To evaluate the relative contribution of the direct, diffuse, and reflected radiation in UV protection provided by different sizes of shade structure, we used SimUVEx v2, a numeric tool based on 3D graphic techniques and ambient ground UV irradiance. The relative UV exposure reduction was expressed by the predictive protection factor (PPF). Shade structures were found to predominantly reduce exposure from direct radiation (from 97.1% to 99.9% for the upper body areas such as the head and the neck), with greater protection from larger shade structures and structures closer above the subject. Legs were the least protected anatomical zone from any shade structure above the subject with PPF ranging from 18.5% to 68.1%. Throughout the day, except for lower solar zenith angles (SZA), small and high shade structures provide the lowest protection (between 20% and 50%), while small and low shade structure show PPF between 35% and 65% and large and high shade structures reach PPF higher than 60%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1289-1296
Number of pages8
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


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