Ultraviolet radiation (UV)

INTERSUN Programme


At the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in 1992 it was declared under Agenda 21 that there should be activities on the effects of UV radiation. Specifically,

  • to undertake as a matter of urgency, research on the effects on human health of increasing ultraviolet radiation reaching the earth’s surface as a consequence of depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer;
  • and on the basis of the outcome of this research, to consider taking appropriate remedial measures to mitigate the above mentioned effects on human beings.


  • To provide information, practical advice and sound scientific predictions on the health impact and environmental effects of UV exposure.
  • To encourage countries to take action to reduce UV-induced health risks.
  • To provide guidance to national authorities and other agencies about effective sun awareness programmes.

The INTERSUN Project

  • collaborates with specialist agencies to implement key research activities that fill gaps in knowledge;
  • identifies and quantifies health risks from UV radiation;
  • develops reliable predictions of health and environmental consequences of changes in UV exposure with stratospheric ozone depletion;
  • develops practical ways of monitoring change in UV-induced health effects over time in relation to environmental and behavioural change;
  • provides practical advice and information to national authorities on health and environmental effects of UV exposure, means of efficiently disseminating this information, and measures to protect the general public, workers, tourists, sunbed users and the environment against the adverse effects of increasing UV radiation levels;
  • focuses on sun protection for children and education in schools, and
  • promotes the UV Index as an educational tool for sun protection.

Priority activities

See detailed information on INTERSUN activities


INTERSUN’s activities require a broad cross-section of expertise. In addition to ongoing collaboration with international organizations, the programme also operates through a network of collaborating Collaborating Centres.

International Organizations

WHO Collaborating Centres

A WHO Collaborating Centre is a national institution designated by the Director-General of the World Health Organization to form part of an international collaborative network carrying out activities in support of WHO’s mandate for international health work and its programme priorities. The following collaborative centres below are key contributors to Intersun's activities.


Please send us an e-mail to uvinfo@who.int

Radiation Programme
Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health
World Health Organization
CH1211 Geneva 27