Malignant skin tumors induced by UV-irradiation - Development and evaluation of differentiation criteria between occupational and non-occupational causes relevant for the occupational health insurance

Project No. FF-FB 0170


completed 03/2013


Squamous cell carcinomas of the skin and actinic keratoses may be induced by occupational UV-exposure. For basal cell carcinomas, the scientific debate is still ongoing. However, evidence-based criteria are missing to differentiate occupational from non-occupational causes in the development of UV-induced skin cancers. This relates to a standardized, reproducible, quantitative assessment of chronic UV-damage on skin areas exposed to occupational and non-occupational UV light, and to the assessment of occupational and non-occupational UV exposure. The development of these tools are the more necessary since non-melanoma skin cancer is the most frequent type of skin cancer with a constant increase of incidence.


In the context of the present research project, instruments for the dermatologic assessment and quantification of UV-damage were developed and validated in a multicenter study. A second part of the project was the development of instruments for the assessment of occupational and extraoccupational exposure to UV irradiation. In this part, a close cooperation was performed with the IFA Sankt Augustin and selected prevention services of Statutory Occupational Accidents Insurances. Methods were developed that allow to estimate the occupational UV-exposure in individual cases with a high precision.


During this work, important information for the quantification of occupational and extraoccupational exposure to UV-irradiation was gathered and useful information materials for the risk assessment of workplaces and future preventive activities by prevention services were developed.

Following the present research project, the developed instruments are to be used in two case-control studies on the importance of occupational and extraoccupational exposure in the development of squamous cell cancer (study A) and basal cell cancer (study B).

In conclusion, with the present research project, criteria could be developed and validated that allow to differentiate cases of skin cancer induced by occupational factors from those induced by extraoccupational factors. These criteria are necessary for the risk assessment of workplaces, for the development of preventive activities and for medical expert opinions. The results will be used in providing recommendations for prevention and expert opinions ("Bamberg Recommendations").

Last Update:



Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Universitätsklinikum Jena

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

radiation, -various



Description, key words:

UV-irradiation-Development, skin tumors