Joint Statement on Skin Cancer Prevention across the EU

 joint statement on skin cancer prevention to mark World Cancer Day  4 February

(4 February 2022)  EPSU, together with several organisations and MEPs, launched a joint statement on skin cancer prevention to mark World Cancer Day on Friday, 4 February. 

Skin cancer is the most common cancer type in the European Union. Although the number of cases is rapidly increasing, skin cancer is part of the 40 percent of preventable cancers.

EPSU, other organisations and MEPs published a joint statement calling on the European Commission to act on several areas for an adequate EU policy and regulatory framework in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan:

  1. Improving understanding, education and awareness about skin cancer and implementing evidence-based interventions for behavioural change
  2. Introducing measures to protect EU citizens from excessive exposure to natural and artificial UV radiation
  3. Recognising skin cancer as an occupational disease and implementing UV protection measures for outdoor workers
  4. Improving registration of skin cancer cases across Europe to detect risk groups
  5. Enhancing early detection of skin cancer by a targeted screening of high-risk groups

Outdoor workers are at high risk of skin cancer

In the EU, 14.5 million people work outdoors for at least 75 percent of their working time – many of them are essential workers. As a result, they are dramatically at risk of skin cancer. Recent UV- measurements have shown that outdoor workers all over Europe are regularly exceeding the daily WHO/ ICNIRP UV-exposure limits by up to five times. Although skin cancer is the most common occupational cancer in Europe, it is not recognised as an occupational disease.

EPSU and other organisations call for taking action on the following topics to protect outdoor workers:

  • Recognise UV-induced skin cancer types as an occupational disease
  • Introduce new schedules to protect workers from exposure during sun peak hours.
  • Provide regular screening and monitoring for outdoor workers.
  • Implement education on the risks of UV exposure for both employers and employees.

For the joint statement