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Taking care in the sun when working outdoors

Sun is the primary cause of skin cancer, and that means that people who work outside most of the time, are at high risk for this disease. However, because their risk of accidental death and injury on the job is not only higher, but also more immediate, the dangers of skin cancer have often been overlooked. Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK and the incidence of the disease is rising rapidly. However, up to 80% of cases could be avoided. Overexposure to UV radiation is the major environmental cause of all types of skin cancer. Staying safe in the UK is more important than many people think. On average, people who work outdoors receive 3 to 4 times more UV exposure each year than people who work indoors. This cumulative exposure puts outdoor workers at greater risk of nonmelanoma skin cancers, which are the most common forms of skin cancer in the UK. People who get sunburnt also increase their risk of malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Sunburn can double an individual's risk of skin cancer. Those most at risk of skin cancer are people with fair skin, lots of freckles or moles, or a family history of skin cancer. Taking some simple steps to reduce expose to the sun will go some way to reducing that risk.

For further information on taking care in the sun or on skin cancer look online:

Cancer Focus Northern Ireland’s website www.careinthesun.org 
Cancer Research UK www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/sun-uv-and-cancer