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The sun, the main cause of occupational cancer for almost 14.5 million European workers.


24 Mar 2016


Health & Consumers
Social Europe & Jobs

Brussels, Belgium/Lugano Switzerland – 24/03/16.  There are almost 14.5 million workers in Europe, who spend at least 75% of their working time under the sun. A new report published last week from a group of leading dermatologists, members of the EADV, and other experts from all around Europe, clearly showed that this major part of Europe’s workforce is under an increased risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC).

Data  in  the  report  show  that  after  only  five  years  of  outdoor  work,  the  risk  of  developing NMSC is at least twofold for outdoor workers compared to indoor workers.  Furthermore, the data  also  show  that  health  literacy  and  proneness  to  prevention  are  significantly  lower  for outdoor workers.

The report entitled “Non-melanoma Skin Cancer by Solar UV. The Neglected Occupational Threat”,  provides  an  overview  and  new  research  on  the  current  European  status  quo regarding  epidemiology,  risk  assessment  and  UVR  exposure  measurement,  legal management and health care services provided to affected workers.

In  a  consensus  report  found  in  the  same  publication,  the  experts  call  European  member states to recognise NMSC as an occupational disease and the EU Commission to revise the 2006  Directive  on  Artificial  Optical  Radiation  (2006/25/EC)  to  include  solar  UV  radiation within its scope. This Directive currently only defines limits for exposure of workers to artificial optical  radiation  to  the  eyes  and  skin  and  completely  excludes  exposure  of  workers  to sunlight.

"For  the  sake  of  outdoor  workers  with  skin  cancer  by  the  sun  EADV  had  to  stand  tall, providing the overwhelming scientific evidence for the invisible  occupational risk of solar  UV. Far too many of our patients diseased with work related skin cancers ask us 'why has nobody told me before?  I would then have protected myself!'  This has to change!  Prevention  is simple  and  cheap,  and  skin  cancer  is  one  of  the  few  cancers  entirely  curable  if  detected early,"  comments Prof. Dr. Swen Malte John, one of the  editors  of the report, Chair of the Media  &  PR  Committee  of  the  EADV  and  Chair  of  the  EU  Horizon2020  COST  Action Standerm.

The publication can be accessed online at: 

Nikos Manaras
Senior EU Affairs and Media Coordinator EADV
38 Avenue General De Gaulle
1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 650 00 90
Tel (Direct): + 32 2 650 00 96
Mobile: +32 475 264649

About EADV

Founded  in  1987,  EADV  is  a  non-profit  association  whose  vision  is  to  be  the  premier  European  DermatoVenereology Society,  with the  key  aims of  improving  the  quality  of  patient  care,  providing  continuing  medical education  (CME)  for  all  Dermato-Venereologists  in  Europe,  and  advocacy  on  behalf  of  the  specialty  and patients.

The  membership  concept  has  been  broadened  to  include  all  areas  of  Europe  and  elsewhere,  and  the development of alliances and affiliations with other organisations.

For further information about the Academy, please contact us under +32 2 650 00 90 or visit


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