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Skin colour has been associated with low 25(OH)D, especially in Africans living in countries with a temperate climate. For example, 25-OHD under 10 ng/mL (25 nmol/l) in 44% of asymptomatic East African children living in Melbourne   A study of healthy young Ethiopians living in Addis Ababa (10 degrees N) found average 25(OH)D levels of /L.  A review of vitamin D in Africa  gives the median levels for equatorial countries: Kenya nmol/L and Democratic Republic of the Congo 65nmol/L, concluding that it remains to be established if associations between vitamin D status and health outcomes identified in Western countries can be replicated in African countries.
Evidence relating to sun safety cannot be interpreted in isolation from the increasing, but sometimes contradictory, volume of evidence surrounding the risks to health from vitamin D deficiency and its link to sun avoidance.
The message itself is not easily definable, as a number of variables, such as the geographical location, time of day, weather conditions and the individual’s skin colour, all contribute to the net effect of the sun on the skin.
It is therefore difficult to quantify how much sun it takes to damage the skin, how much sun it takes to obtain an individual’s optimum vitamin D level, or furthermore to combine the two and define a safe level of sun exposure that allows a person to obtain the recommended level of vitamin D without suffering skin damage.