Place in the sun carries risks for outdoor workers

Posted By News On November 12, 2012 - 4:01pm

Those individuals who work outdoors with resultant sun exposure are at increased risk for non-melanoma skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. Manigé Fartasch shows that the connection between occupational UV exposure and squamous cell carcinoma is now well-established in her review article in issue 43 of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109(43): 715−20).

The results are less clear for basal cell carcinoma, another form of non-melanoma skin cancer. Skin cancers caused by UV light have not yet been considered work-related diseases in accordance with the Ordinance on Occupational Diseases (BKV, Berufkrankheitsverordnung). Including these cancers in the accepted list of occupational diseases is currently being discussed. For now, the authors recommend that if a squamous cell carcinoma is suspected of being caused by occupational UV exposure, it should be reported as a quasi-occupational disease under §9, paragraph 2 Social Security Statues (SGB, Sozialgesetzbuch) VII. The authors also call for preventive measures for workers with increased occupational UV exposure.

Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer in Western lands with an incidence of around 10 per 100 000 inhabitants in Europe. Pale individuals with a sun-sensitive skin type are especially likely to be affected.

The Dermalert home skinscreening software trial is in the open enrollment phase. The study is completely anonymous and provides those who sign up with a free copy of the Dermalert software. Dermalert was developed through NIH funding to aid in the detection of new or changing moles that are at higher risk of being a melanoma. To learn about the study and obtain your free copy of the Dermalert software use the participation code: DERMCHECK at www.dermalert.com/trial.

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