Solar radiation sustains and affects all life forms on Earth. In recent years, the increase in environmental levels of solar-UV radiation due to depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer, as a result of anthropogenic emission of destructive chemicals, has highlighted serious issues of social concern. This becomes still more dramatic in tropical and subtropical regions, where the intensity of solar radiation is higher. To better understand the impact of the harmful effects of solar-UV radiation on the DNA molecule, we developed a reliable biological monitoring system based on the exposure of plasmid DNA to artificial UV lamps and sunlight. The determination and quantification of different types of UV photoproducts were performed through the use of specific DNA repair enzymes and antibodies. As expected, a significant number of CPDs and 6-4PPs was observed when the DNA-dosimeter system was exposed to increasing doses of UVB radiation. Moreover, CPDs could also be clearly detected in plasmid DNA when this system was exposed to either UVA or directly to sunlight. Interestingly, although less abundant, 6-4PPs and oxidative DNA damage were also generated after exposure to both UVA and sunlight. These results confirm the genotoxic potential of sunlight, reveal that UVA may also produce CPDs and 6-4PPs directly in naked DNA and demonstrate the applicability of a DNA-dosimeter system for monitoring the biological effects of solar-UV radiation.