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Ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer risk in offshore workers

08 Aug 2017

AbstractBackgroundExcess skin cancer mortality and incidence have been reported among both land-based and offshore petroleum workers. The association between skin cancer and ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure has not been examined in these workers, although they have long off-duty periods and high average income that may allow travelling to sunny destinations. In addition, they have access to solariums free of charge on many accommodation platforms.AimsTo prospectively examine risk of incident cutaneous melanoma (CM) and non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), according to sun-tanning habits with adjustment for aromatic hydrocarbon exposure.MethodsA cohort of men employed offshore from 1965 to 1999 was linked through the Cancer Registry of Norway 1999–2012. Cox regression adapted to a stratified case-cohort design was used to estimate hazard ratios with 95% confidence intervals.ResultsThe cohort included 24917 men. During 13.5 years of follow-up, 112 CMs and 70 NMSCs occurred. A positive dose–response relationship was seen between sunburn frequency and risk of CM (Ptrend < 0.05) and NMSC (Ptrend < 0.01). Solarium use both before and after age 20 was related to increased risk of NMSC. Sunscreen use was associated with increased risk of NMSC (Ptrend < 0.001).ConclusionsUVR exposure seems to be a significant contributor to the elevated risk of skin cancer observed in North Sea offshore workers. The positive association between solarium use and NMSC risk adds to the growing body of literature on artificial UV devices as carcinogenic.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in Occupational Medicine

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