Most of you will probably have realised through personal experience that UV radiation doesn’t just get you from above, but can also reflect off different surfaces. But what surprised me was the level of UV that was reflected.
I think we all realise that UV reflects off water, especially those who enjoy a bit of fishing or time out on the boat. Apparently it is between 3% – 8% of UV reflects off water, which isn’t huge, but without sun protection on a high UV day, that is still enough to do a bit of damage.
But what surprised me was that white house paint reflects up to 22% of UV radiation, concrete reflect about 8%-12% and asphalt about 4%-8%. Even soil reflects between 4%-6% and grass about 2%-5%.
This made me realise that working outdoors each day we are probably being exposed to even more UV radiation than we perhaps thought. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any more information on other surfaces, but I bet that the reflected UV on light coloured Colourbond roofs is pretty high, and for untreated tin sheeting it would be through the roof.
So I guess regardless of what line of work you are in, if you work outdoors there seems a pretty fair chance that you are affected by reflected UV, which means the UV we are all receiving might be even higher than we thought. For me it is just another reason for remembering to use sun protection when working outdoors.