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Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer as an Occupational Disease
Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common cancer in the world. Two to three million people are diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancer every year and, during the past 30 years, there has been an average yearly increase of 3–8% in white populations in Australia, Europe, the US, and Canada.
In Australia, the skin cancer capital of the world, a high burden of UVR exposure occurs in occupational settings. According to a 2014 analysis based on 2011–2012 data, 40.3% of Australians are potentially exposed to carcinogens in their workplace, with UVR being the most common exposure (37% of working males and 8% of working females). An earlier study from 2006 estimated that 34,000 non-melanoma skin cancers per year are due to occupational exposures in Australia. It is not possible to quantify risk in NZ because there is no routine recording of non-melanoma skin cancer incidence and occupational history, although it is well recognised that NZ outdoor workers are exposed to high levels of solar UVR.