We present the results of a 'natural experiment' to test how variations in exogenous risk levels affect resultant willingness to pay (WTP) for risk reduction. The case study presented considers WTP for reductions in the skin cancer risks associated with exposure to solar UV radiation. A common design contingent valuation survey is conducted in four countries, across which variation in geographical latitude and genetic mix mean that exogenous risks differ substantially. Survey respondents were presented with both a private and public good route for affecting risk reduction. In both cases, results confirm that once adjustment had been made for expected relationships with other covariates (such as income and risk averting behaviour), valuation responses for both goods conformed to expectations with the ordering of values across countries reflecting the ordering of scientifically established health risks. This suggests that links between values and objective health risks may be observed within such situations and provides a justification for continuing research into more natural representations of risk and risk reductions in order to yield consistent and robust measures of associated values. © Springer 2005.