Dosimeters: measuring occupational UV exposure's involvement in skin cancer development
Authors: Adrian I. Lungu, Alexandra I. Butacu, Ionela Manole, Alina Suru, George S. Țiplica, Carmen M. Sălăvăstru
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Introduction: Solar exposure is a major causative factor for multiple skin pathologies. Even
though UV radiation is the most important factor implicated in skin cancer pathogenesis, still, few
European countries recognize UV occupational-induced skin cancer as an occupational disease,
Romania not being part of this category. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the UV
exposure doses in agriculture and construction workers and to establish efficient protective
Materials and methods: In our Department, a prospective, observational, analytical study was
conducted, including six outdoor workers (in construction and agriculture), over a period of three
summer months (July, August, September). Subjects were asked to wear personal dosimeters and
the following parameters were analyzed: profession, duration of exposure, UV exposure doses, skin
aspect, preexisting preventive measures.
Results: The wearing of dosimeters was well tolerated by all subjects, without any interference with
daily professional activities. Daily UV radiation doses ranged from 1.79 SED (tractor driver) to 19
SED (agriculture worker). Maximum UVR doses were recorded between 10:00 am and 4 pm. Clinical
examination was made after measurements, with no detectable skin changes.
Conclusion: Even though workers in agriculture and construction in Romania are exposed to
significant UV doses, with 40% more than the general population, these professions are not
recognized as high-risk professions for developing skin tumors. More prospective and retrospective
studies are necessary for more significant statistical results and for demonstrating the necessity of
introducing primary, secondary and tertiary preventive measures.