- This project can be adapted for PhD study, MPhil or Masters study.
Sun exposure has both harms and benefits. Over-exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is the primary cause of skin cancer but the main source of vitamin D. We currently do not provide accurate, evidence-based, clear and appropriate public health messages about optimal sun exposure. There are substantial challenges in doing so due to the complexity in the scientific evidence around UVR measurement, environmental factors (time of day, season, location, weather, climate change), social factors (outdoor exposure, intentional tanning, attitudes to sun protection), individual factors (skin phenotypes, medication use, immunity) and economic factors (markets for sunscreen/tanning, vitamin supplements, medical services). Too high or too low sun exposure exerts an enormous disease and economic burden on society that we currently do not fully understand because the dual problems have never been jointly assessed. There are a range of tasks that are needed to address this question; systematic reviews on specific components, developing a systems model for data simulations, generating data on costs of sun-related diseases and potential interventions to model. Large datasets are also available to analyse individual-level data which will contribute to our knowledge on this dual health problem.
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