Skin Cancer Compensation Claims
You have been diagnosed with skin cancer after exposure to harmful chemicals, substances or radiation. If you have been exposed at or because of work, it is often possible for you or your family to claim compensation.
How we can help…
Your employer has a duty to protect you from harm. If they have breached that duty through negligence, you may have the right to make a compensation claim. Our experienced skin cancer solicitors will support you throughout the process of making a claim, working closely with medical practitioners and specialist nurses.
We have a team of lawyers who are experts in skin cancer compensation claims and other work-related cancer claims. We put our clients first – you can choose to progress your case in person, over the phone or by email. Our team is also available outside of normal working hours.
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Skin cancer is common type of cancer which may be caused by an individual’s occupation. Those exposed to ultraviolet light (when working outdoors), ultraviolet light from sunbeds (if operating equipment), chemicals (for example, coal tar, pitch and unrefined mineral oils), and ionising radiation (from radioactive substances or X-rays) may have an increased risk of developing skin cancer.
Exposure to some harmful chemicals and substances, including UV radiation, can cause cancer. Cancer is caused when damage occurs to a cell’s DNA. Some chemicals and substances, including radiation, can damage the DNA and this can lead to cancer. Cancer-causing chemicals and substances are known as ‘carcinogens’.
Substances are classified as ‘known to be carcinogenic to humans’, ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’ or ‘no evidence of carcinogenicity to humans’.
Symptoms that may be related to skin cancer can include:
- A patch of scaly, hard skin;
- A red lump/spot;
- An ulcer;
- A new mole;
- A patch of skin that may either bleed, ooze or form a crust.
Research suggests that occupations with exposure to carcinogens are linked to higher than average rates of certain types of cancer, including skin cancer. Evidence suggests an increased risk of skin cancer from solar radiation, especially on the face and neck, where exposure is occupational for at least 10 years.
Various areas of outdoor work are linked with an increased risk, including agriculture, construction and painting, manufacturing and mining, and service industries.
There are strict regulations governing the use of harmful chemicals and substances, particularly in the workplace. The main legislations protecting employees are COSHH (Control of Substances Hazardous to Health) and the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Employers should be aware of known carcinogens and HSE guidelines.
There may be time limits for making a claim for compensation for work-related cancer. For this reason, we advise clients to get in touch with us as soon as possible after their diagnosis.
Known carcinogens are substances that are known to cause cancer. Known carcinogens (for all types of cancers) include:
- Acetaldehyde (from consuming alcoholic beverages)
- Acheson process, occupational exposure associated with
- Acid mists, strong inorganic
- Alcoholic beverages
- Aluminum production
- Areca nut
- Aristolochic acid (and plants containing it)
- Arsenic and inorganic arsenic compounds
- Asbestos (all forms) and mineral substances (such as talc or vermiculite) that contain asbestos
- Auramine production
- Benzidine and dyes metabolized to benzidine
- Beryllium and beryllium compounds
- Betel quid, with or without tobacco
- Bis(chloromethyl)ether and chloromethyl methyl ether (technical-grade)
- Cadmium and cadmium compounds
- Chromium (VI) compounds
- Clonorchis sinensis (infection with), also known as the Chinese liver fluke
- Coal, indoor emissions from household combustion
- Coal gasification
- Coal-tar distillation
- Coal-tar pitch
- Coke production
- Engine exhaust, diesel
- Epstein-Barr virus (infection with)
- Estrogen postmenopausal therapy
- Estrogen-progestogen postmenopausal therapy (combined)
- Estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives (combined) (Note: There is also convincing evidence in humans that these agents confer a protective effect against cancer in the endometrium and ovary)
- Ethanol in alcoholic beverages
- Ethylene oxide
- Etoposide in combination with cisplatin and bleomycin
- Fission products, including strontium-90
- Fluoro-edenite fibrous amphibole
- Haematite mining (underground)
- Helicobacter pylori (infection with)
- Hepatitis B virus (chronic infection with)
- Hepatitis C virus (chronic infection with)
- Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) (infection with)
- Human papilloma virus (HPV) types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59 (infection with) (Note: The HPV types that have been classified as carcinogenic to humans can differ by an order of magnitude in risk for cervical cancer)
- Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I (HTLV-1) (infection with)
- Ionizing radiation (all types)
- Iron and steel founding (workplace exposure)
- Isopropyl alcohol manufacture using strong acids
- Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) (infection with)
- Leather dust
- Magenta production
- Methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen) plus ultraviolet A radiation, also known as PUVA
- 4,4'-Methylenebis(chloroaniline) (MOCA)
- Mineral oils, untreated or mildly treated
- MOPP and other combined chemotherapy including alkylating agents
- Neutron radiation
- Nickel compounds
- N'-Nitrosonornicotine (NNN) and 4-(N-Nitrosomethylamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK)
- Opisthorchis viverrini (infection with), also known as the Southeast Asian liver fluke
- Outdoor air pollution (and the particulate matter in it)
- Painter (workplace exposure as a)
- 3,4,5,3',4'-Pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB-126)
- Phenacetin (and mixtures containing it)
- Phosphorus-32, as phosphate
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxin-like, with a Toxicity Equivalency Factor according to WHO (PCBs 77, 81, 105, 114, 118, 123, 126, 156, 157, 167, 169, 189)
- Processed meat (consumption of)
- Radioiodines, including iodine-131
- Radionuclides, alpha-particle-emitting, internally deposited
- Radionuclides, beta-particle-emitting, internally deposited
- Radium-224 and its decay products
- Radium-226 and its decay products
- Radium-228 and its decay products
- Radon-222 and its decay products
- Rubber manufacturing industry
- Salted fish (Chinese-style)
- Schistosoma haematobium (infection with)
- Semustine (methyl-CCNU)
- Shale oils
- Silica dust, crystalline, in the form of quartz or cristobalite
- Solar radiation
- Soot (as found in workplace exposure of chimney sweeps)
- Sulfur mustard
- Tamoxifen (Note: There is also conclusive evidence that tamoxifen reduces the risk of contralateral breast cancer in breast cancer patients)
- Thorium-232 and its decay products
- Tobacco, smokeless
- Tobacco smoke, secondhand
- Tobacco smoking
- Ultraviolet (UV) radiation, including UVA, UVB, and UVC rays
- Ultraviolet-emitting tanning devices
- Vinyl chloride
- Wood dust
- X- and Gamma-radiation
- Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCV)
If you have been diagnosed with work-related skin cancer, it may be one of the following types:
- Basal cell carcinoma (one of the most common forms). This form may be associated with sunlight, X-ray therapy and arsenic exposure. It usually develops on areas of the body exposed to sunlight, such as the head, ears, face and arms.
- Squamous cell carcinoma. Again, this type develops on areas on the body commonly exposed to sunlight. It is generally associated with exposure to sunlight and X-rays.
- Melanoma. Commonly develops on skin that has been sunburned or exposed to strong, intermittent sunlight/UV radiation.
- Actinic keratosis. Usually occurs in middle aged or older men with pale skin and a history of exposure to the sun (eg through working life). It can progress into squamous cell carcinoma.