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Keratinocyte carcinoma as an occupational disease
  1. Jody Tate1,
  2. Monica Racoviță1,
  3. Audrey Cougnard-Gregoire2,
  4. Cécile Delcourt2,
  5. Catherine Harwood3,
  6. Myrto Trakatelli4
  1. 1 Research Department, The Health Policy Partnership Ltd, London, UK
  2. 2 INSERM, Bordeaux Population Health, U1219, University of Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
  3. 3 Department of Dermatology, The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK
  4. 4 Second Department of Dermatology and Venerology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki School of Medicine, Thessaloniki, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Jody Tate, The Health Policy Partnership Ltd, London, UK; jody.tate{at}

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Keratinocyte carcinoma (KC) comprises basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and are the most common forms of non-melanoma skin cancer are the most frequently diagnosed cancers among people with fair skin in Europe.1 2 People with light skin, hair or eyes are at greatest risk of KC due to their susceptibility to UV damage.3 4 Although mortality rates are relatively low, KC has high rates of morbidity and can be associated with a significant negative impact on health-related quality of life and healthcare costs.5 6 Climate change is likely to amplify this problem in the future: changes to the ozone layer will translate into higher levels of solar ultraviolet radiation (sUVR) on the earth’s surface, and therefore, the incidence of these skin cancers is expected to increase.7

Exposure to sUVR can take place in occupational or non-occupational settings but existing evidence indicates that occupational exposure to sUVR is an important risk factor for KC.5 sUVR is the most common occupational carcinogen in the European Union, with more than nine million workers being exposed to sUVR for at least 75% of their time at work.8 Worryingly, many outdoor workers will develop a skin cancer at some point in their lives.9 Despite this, KC is often not recognised as an occupational disease9 and there are no officially recognised European standards which aim to reduce the risk of occupational sUVR-related KC among outdoor workers.10 This has …

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  • Contributors JT led the drafting of the editorial with support from MR. CD, A C-G and CH provided insights and interviews in support of the development of a discussion paper which covered some of the same topics and which this editorial is loosely drawn from, although the focus and content of the two papers differs considerably. They also, along with MT and MR, provided guidance on the structure and content, commented on numerous drafts and provided sign off of the final version of this editorial.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.