Informal workers in African market trade have little formal protection against sun exposure.
We aimed to examine sun exposure, sun-related symptoms, and sun protection practices in an
informal occupational setting. Trained fieldworkers asked 236 workers in the Warwick Junction
market about their workplace, skin and eye sensitivity and skin colour, symptoms faced at work
during the summer due to heat, and preventive measures. Data were analyzed using univariate
logistic regression to assess the effect of gender and the risk of experiencing symptoms to sun
exposure in relation to pre-existing diseases and perception of sun exposure as a hazard. Of the
236 participants, 234 were Black African and 141 (59.7%) were female. Portable shade was the most
commonly used form of sun protection (69.9%). Glare from the sun (59.7%) and excessive sweating
(57.6%) were commonly reported sun-related health symptoms. The use of protective clothing was
more prevalent among those who perceived sun exposure as a hazard (p = 0.003). In an informal
occupational setting, sun exposure was high. Protective clothing and portable shade to eliminate
heat and bright light were self-implemented. Action by local authorities to protect informal workers
should consider sun exposure to support workers in their efforts to cope in hot weather.