We know that the sun's ultraviolet rays cause skin ageing and other dermatological problems, including various types of cancer. Therefore, most of us protect our skin with suitable products and avoid overdoing the sunbathing. But what about people who have to work outdoors?
Farmers, ranchers, construction workers and people in many other jobs are daily exposed to the sun. Ultraviolet rays reaching their skin especially affect the head, lower lip, upper chest area, shoulders, forearms and back of the hands. In contrast, most other people work in offices, workshops and shops and are exposed to the sun only in their free time or on holidays. A review of scientific studies published in a German journal confirms that occupational sun exposure increases the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, a malignant cancer that affects 100 of every 100,000 Europeans. Incidence is higher, moreover, in people with fair skin (phototypes I and II). In Germany this carcinoma is rated as an occupational disease, to be communicated officially to health authorities by doctors who diagnose it.