THE NETHERLANDS: Occupational skin cancers do not mobilize the medical world

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The NCvB has decided to devote its energies to work-related skin cancers with a view to the National Skin Cancer Prevention Day on 30 May 2015. The organizers, who are mainly non-profit dermatologist organizations, did not plan to address the issue of occupational cancers.

The NCvB considers that this lack of interest illustrates the sharp divergence existing between the Netherlands and other European countries on the question of occupational skin cancers. The writer of the article gives a reminder that the EU strategic framework in the area of occupational safety and health (2014-2020) pays special attention to the exposure to ultraviolet rays (UV) of people working in the open air. For this group of workers, the incidence of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) has increased significantly in a few years, and that of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) has even doubled compared with other workers and with the population as a whole. Skin cancers are the most prevalent and now the most costly form of cancer in Europe. This occupational risk has been the subject of specific legislation in countries such as Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Portugal and, recently, Germany.

The NCvB has already issued a number of recommendations to improve the identification of work-related malignant skin tumours. So far, these recommendations have not had the expected effect. Between 2010 and 2014, only 40 cases were reported by company doctors.

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