"Healthy Skin@Work" campaign against occupational skin diseases

The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) launched a
pan-European "Healthy Skin@Work" campaign, which seeks to raise public and
political awareness on the challenges of occupational skin diseases at European
and national level.

It aims at creating a dermatological prevention service system that interlocks
and builds upon each other for the benefit of exposed individuals in high risk
work environments throughout the EU. The ongoing campaign is supported by
national sub-campaigns in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany and Romania. This
year, the national campaigns are being replicated and joined by additional ones
in Denmark, Austria and Slovenia.

One important objective of the campaign was achieved in September 2010 through
the adoption of the European framework agreement on the prevention of health
risks in the hairdressing sector, also referred to the Declaration of Dresden
(DoD; by the social partners of the EU Commission´s Social
Dialogue. The DoD is the main outcome of the EU-funded SafeHair project and is
an EADV-scientifically-guided voluntary consensus reached amongst all
stakeholders (European hairdressers' employers' and workers' associations,
suppliers and safety engineers) on the importance of prevention and of
implementing respective measures in the hairdressing trade. It is a unique tool
in terms of providing practical recommendations for the implementation of
prevention standards pertaining to a number of complementary spheres of action.

The EADV-campaign is scientifically guided by the European Initiative for the
Prevention of Occupational Skin Diseases [EPOS], which is a network of 79
experts from more than 50 dermatological centres in 24 European countries under
the umbrella of the EADV.

According to the WHO, occupational skin diseases (OSD) are the leading cause of
occupational illnesses as they represent up to 27 per cent of all diseases
worldwide. OSD can affect workers in almost all sectors and occupations. In
Europe, they are considered to be the second most common work-related health
problem and one of the most important emerging risks related to the exposure to
chemical, physical and biological risk factors. In the context of increased
exposure to solar UV radiation, occupational non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is
becoming a rising problem. OSD cost up to EUR 5 billion per year due to loss of
productivity and cause extensive suffering for workers as it can result in
detrimental socioeconomic and psychological consequences, including job loss
and long-term unemployment.

More information - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work