Occupational Exposure to Solar Radiation and the Eye: A Call to Implement Health Surveillance of Outdoor Workers

Alberto Modenese, B. Ralph Chou, Balázs Ádám, Tom Loney, Marilia Silva Paulo, Thomas Tenkate, Fabriziomaria Gobba

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Globally, hundreds of millions of outdoor workers are exposed to solar radiation (SR) for most of their work. Such occupational exposure is known to induce various adverse health effects on the eyes, mainly related to its ultraviolet (UV) component. The present work is a call to action to raise awareness of the need for health surveillance to prevent chronic ocular diseases in outdoor workers. Photo-chemical chronic damage can induce pterygium at the eye’s outer layer and cataracts in the lens. Considering carcinogenic effects, rare squamous-cell tumors of the cornea and/or the conjunctiva and ocular melanomas are associated with UV radiation exposure. Solar UV-related eye diseases should be considered “occupational diseases” when workers have sufficient exposure. Still, they are often not recognized and/ or frequently not reported to the national compensation authorities. Therefore, to prevent the burden of these work-related eye pathologies, an adequate risk assessment with identification of appropriate preventive measures and a provision of periodic health surveillance to the exposed workers, particularly those at higher risk of exposure or with individual susceptibility, should be urgently implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023032
JournalMedicina del Lavoro
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2 2023


  • Adverse Eye Effects
  • Cataract
  • Eye Tumors
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Ocular Melanoma
  • Optical Radiation
  • Pterygium
  • Solar Radiation
  • Ultraviolet Radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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