CIESIN Thematic Guides

Health Effects from Increased Exposure to Ultraviolet-B (UV-B) Radiation due to Stratospheric Ozone Depletion

Stratospheric ozone protects the biosphere from potentially damaging doses of ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B). Recent depletion of stratospheric ozone could lead to significant increases in UV-B reaching the Earth's surface. UV-B radiation is responsible for a wide range of potentially damaging human and animal health effects, primarily related to the skin, eyes, and immune system. Human exposure to UV-B depends upon an individual's location (latitude and altitude), the duration and timing of outdoor activities (time of day, season of the year), and precautionary behavior (use of sunscreen, sunglasses, or protective clothing). An individual's skin color and age can influence the occurrence and severity of some of the health effects from exposure to UV-B.

This guide section provides an Overview of Health Effects from Increased Ultraviolet-B Exposure due to Ozone Depletion and offers more detailed essays on the key effects: