Development of Job Exposure Matrices to Estimate Occupational Exposure to Solar and Artificial Ultraviolet Radiation

James M. Boiano, Sharon R. Silver, Rebecca J. Tsai, Wayne T. Sanderson, Sa Liu, Lawrence W. Whitehead

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objectives: Job exposure matrices (JEMs) are important tools for estimating occupational exposures in study populations where only information on industry and occupation (I&O) are available. JEMs The objective of this work was to create JEMs for solar and artificial ultraviolet radiation (UVR) using a US standardized coding scheme. Methods: Using U.S. Census Bureau industry and occupation codes, separate lists of I&O pairs were developed for solar and artificial UVR by a panel of Certified Industrial Hygienists who assigned exposure ratings to I&O pairs with potential exposure. Parameters for exposure included prevalence (P) and frequency (F) for solar UVR and P, F, and intensity (I) for artificial UVR. Prevalence, or percent of all workers employed in an I&O pair who were exposed, was categorically rated: 0 to <1, 1 to <20; 20 to <80, and ≥80. Frequency of exposure, defined by the number of hours per week workers were exposed, was categorically rated: 0 to <5, 5 to <20, 20 to <35, and ≥35 h per week. For artificial UVR only, intensity of exposure was assigned three ratings: low, low with rare excursions, and >low under normal conditions. Discrepant ratings were resolved via consensus. Results: After excluding I&O pairs assigned P and F ratings of 0 (solar UVR) and P, F, and I ratings of 0 (artificial UVR) from the JEM, 9206 I&O pairs were rated for solar UVR and 2010 I&O pairs for artificial UVR. For solar UVR, 723 (7.9% of all rated pairs) had ratings in the highest category for P and F; this group included 45 occupations in varied industries. Construction and extraction occupations represented most of the occupations (n = 20; 44%), followed by farming, fishing, and forestry occupations (n = 6; 13%). For artificial UVR, 87 I&O pairs (4.3% of all rated pairs) had maximum ratings for P, F, and I; these comprised a single occupation (welding, soldering, and brazing workers) in diverse industries. Conclusions: JEMs for solar and artificial UVR were developed for a broad range of I&O pairs in the US population and are available for use by researchers conducting occupational epidemiological studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)936-943
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Work Exposures and Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society 2020.


  • artificial ultraviolet radiation
  • expert review
  • exposure estimates
  • frequency
  • industry and occupation codes
  • intensity ratings
  • job exposure matrix
  • prevalence
  • solar ultraviolet radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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