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Description of the use of a risk estimation model to assess the increased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer among outdoor workers in Central Queensland, Australia

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The aim was to use the measured data on annual exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation in the risk estimation model to estimate the increase in risk of Non-Melanomic Skin Cancer (NMSC) among outdoor workers compared to indoor workers in Rockhampton (lat. 23°S), Central Queensland, Australia. Methods:

Results on annual occupational exposure measured on two occupational groups namely Australia Post Mail Delivery Personnel (APMDP) and Physical Education Teachers (PE) using film badge dosimeters was used in the risk estimation model to determine the increase in risk of NMSC with years of outdoor occupational exposure compared to indoor workers. The sensitivity of the model was tested for variations in recreational and childhood exposure of both groups, as well as occupational exposure of indoor workers. Results:

For APMDP the increase in risk for Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) varied from 1.1 to 3.6 for 5–20 years of exposure and for Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) the risk varied from 1.2 to 5.5 for the same periods of exposure. For the PE teachers the risk for BCC varied from 1.1 to 1.8 and for SCC the range was 1.1–2.3 for similar exposure periods. Conclusion:

The increased risk estimates did not show any significant changes for variations in occupational and recreational exposure. A maximum change of 20% was computed for 25% variation in childhood exposure, which was mainly for the APMDP with high occupational exposure levels and more than 10 years of occupational exposure. The increased risk estimates are useful to identify high risk groups at an early age and implement long-term protective measures against NMSC.
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Keywords: UV radiation; exposure; non-melanomic skin cancer; risk estimation model

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Engineering and Physical Systems, Central Queensland University, Rockhampton, Queensland 4702, Australia, and 2: Centre for Health and Medical Physics, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland 4001, Australia

Publication date: 2003-04-01

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