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The CBS News article Expedition Antarctica: A father and son's journey to save the planet says (in part):

Thirty-two years ago, Robert Swan made history as the first person to walk to both poles. Even as a young man, these grueling expeditions took a harsh toll on his body. Passing directly beneath the hole in the ozone layer, Swan's face became badly burned and his eyes even changed color. But the Arctic explorer now says that all of that physical duress pales in comparison to the agony of watching his son go through the same experience 32 years later. (emphasis added)

Skin color change can happen after exposure to UV light. From Wikipedia:

Melanin is a natural pigment produced by cells called melanocytes in a process called melanogenesis.

Question: Can the human eye really change color due to excess UV light from the Sun, in this case through a polar "hole" in the ozone layer? If so, what is the mechanism?

hikers Barney and Robert Swan, Antarctica

above: "This winter, Barney and Robert Swan became the first explorers to ever trek to the South Pole surviving exclusively off of renewable energy." Robert (the elder) is on the right. From here. Credit: SHELL-Technical Partners

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    $\begingroup$ I find this a pretty bold statement from this article. The second this, I would like to see at least before and after pictures. Additionally, the color of the sons eye doesn't seem to bright to me. $\endgroup$ – Chris Aug 25 '18 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris pigments can degrade and change color from exposure to UV or even blue light, so it's certainly plausible, but I would think that eye protection usually used in sunlit, reflective, snowy conditions would have prevented this. I'm going to ask for a better source for this in The Great Outdoors SE right now, and I'll keep an eye on answers and comments there and here. I understand it's important to avoid the false premise in a question so if I can't get this resolved shortly I'll delete the question until I can. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 25 '18 at 9:25
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh I will look into this later. Exposure to UV also promotes pigmentation, which puzzles me a bit here. Yes, the eyes are pretty sensitive to UV radiation and sunburn there is pretty painful. $\endgroup$ – Chris Aug 25 '18 at 9:41
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    $\begingroup$ @L.Diago As far as the SHELL-Technical Partners goes, check out the Shell Corporation video The South Pole Energy Challenge which is also found here which comes from this answer to my question looking for additional information on this. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 27 '18 at 0:34
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh Interesting. I actually looking through the journal databases now, lets see, if there is something. $\endgroup$ – Chris Aug 27 '18 at 7:58

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