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Occupational UV Exposure and Sun-Protective Behaviour in German Outdoor Workers

Results of a Nationwide Study

Schneider, Sven, PhD; Diehl, Katharina, PhD; Schilling, Laura, MSc; Spengler, Maria, BSc; Greinert, Rüdiger, PhD; Görig, Tatiana, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2018 - Volume 60 - Issue 11 - p 961–967
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001397

Objective: The aim of the National Cancer Aid Monitoring (NCAM) was to investigate which occupational groups (1) show higher sun exposure time, (2) suffer from sunburn, and (3) use recommended protective measures.

Methods: In 2016, a total of 485 individuals were classified as outdoor workers in accordance with ISCO-08 and asked about exposure time, prevalence of sunburn, and personal sun-protective measures on a sunny summer day.

Results: Outdoor workers were exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation for a mean time of 23.6 ± 15.3 hours per week. The 12-month prevalence of getting sunburnt at work was 19%. Only one-third of outdoor workers reported using five of the most important protective measures “often” or “always.”

Conclusion: The NCAM revealed a number of high-risk groups, whose sun-protective behavior has scarcely been studied up to now.

Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Social and Preventive Medicine, Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany (Dr Schneider, Dr Diehl, Schilling, Spengler, Dr Görig); Association of Dermatological Prevention (ADP), Hamburg, Germany (Dr Greinert); Centre of Dermatology, Elbe Clinics, Buxtehude, Germany (Dr Greinert).

Address correspondence to: Sven Schneider, PhD, Heidelberg University, Mannheim Institute of Public Health, Social and Preventive Medicine, Ludolf-Krehl-Straße 7-11, D-68167 Mannheim, Germany (

The study was granted ethical approval by the Medical Ethics Committee of the Medical Faculty Mannheim at Heidelberg University (No. 2007-269E-MA).

The National Cancer Aid Monitoring is funded by German Cancer Aid from July 2015 to June 2019 (project number: 111207).

The authors declare that they have no potential conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine