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New approach to radiation amplification factor

One important factor for the estimation of climate change is the Radiation Amplification Factor (RAF) defined as the percentage increase in UVbio that would result from 1% decrease in the column amount of atmospheric ozone [1, 2]. RAF can generally be used only to estimate effects of small ozone changes, e.g. of a few percent, because the relationship between ozone and UVbio becomes non-linear for larger ozone changes. In other words RAF is ratio of relative changes of UVbio and the ozone column. We can say also that RAF is differential slope of UVbio to the ozone column relationship in log-log scale.

It is necessary to note that the main peculiarity of this approach is its dimensionless properties. This enables us to compare values with various and different physical meanings. RAF values can give additional possibilities or information. A detailed and comparative analysis of dimensionless RAF values (from the point of denentionless nature) can give the following results.

1) A relatively strong influence and superlinear dependence is observed for: skin erythema, photocarcinogenesis, fish melanoma, generalized DNA damage, mutagenicity and fibroblast killing, cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer formation, occupational exposure limits, membrane-bound K+-stimulated ATPase inactivation, isoflavonoid formation in bean, inhibition of motility (Euglena gracilis), tropospheric photolysis O3+hn-O(D')+O2.

2) An approximately linear dependence was found for: SKH-1 corrected for human skin transformation, elastosis, damage to cornea, immune suppression, tropospheric photolysis HNO3+hn-OH+HNO2, photodegradation of nitrate ions, photodegradation of HCHO (Biscayne Bay), UVB (280–315 nm).

3) A weak dependence is for: fibroblast killing, substrate binding in Chinese hamster, DNA damage in Alfalfa, tropospheric photolysis H2O2+hn-OH+OH, HCHO+hn-H+CHO, yellowness induction in polycarbonate.

4) A very weak dependence was found for: melanoma in fish, photosynthettic electron transport, inhibition in photosynthesis (Phaoedactylum sp.), tropospheric photolysis O3+hn-O(3P)+O2, HCHO+hn-H2+CO, photoproduction of H2O2 in fresh water.


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This work was done in the frame of STCU project #1556.

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Correspondence to Petro Smertenko.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Durzan, D.J., Smertenko, P. New approach to radiation amplification factor. BMC Plant Biol 5 (Suppl 1), S14 (2005).

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