Setting the standards for excellence

07 August 2017 | StanDerm’s achievements recognized in the media

StanDerm's commitment to set EU-wide standards for the prevention and treatment of OSD including OSC has been well reflected by the media. The media pointed out that thanks to the joint efforts of about 140 experts from 31 EU countries a position paper containing a proposal for EU-wide standards on the subject matter has been developed and is now available for key stakeholders. In its report about the final StanDerm workshop in May 2017, the journal Der Deutsche Dermatologe however also mentions that although the EU recognizes the prevention of OSD as a top priority problem, the round-table participants of the final workshop raised doubts as to political commitment within the EU to implement the standards in the near future. Hence, efforts shall continue to raise awareness and reach a change of prevention culture at all levels.

In need of standards for OSD patients

28 June 2017 | StanDerm´s final publication now available online

The interdisciplinary network of experts from 31 countries represented in StanDerm takes a stand on the urgent need to implement evidence-based standards for the benefit of the millions of patients affected by skin disorder due to their work. The position paper included in the publication aims at closing the gap of lacking coherent and standardized OSD prevention strategies. Two further articles underpin the findings of the position paper by highlighting that different national legal situation impede OSD prevention approaches. This includes a lack of workers´ education programmes, the cumbersome notification process and the massive under-reporting still prevailing in many European countries alike. The publication not only aims at raising awareness of colleagues yet unaware on the importance of early detection and targeted patient management but also at drawing attention to this topic to key stakeholders with a view to bringing it forward on national and European health agendas. Hence, printed copies of the publication will be disseminated to a range of stakeholders throughout the forthcoming months.

OSH World Congress 2017 Singapore

26 June 2017 | StanDerm's OSD position paper accepted

Great news: StanDerm’s postion paper „Minimum Standards on Prevention, Diagnosis and Treatment of Occupational and Work-related Skin Diseases in Europe“ has been accepted as oral presentation at the leading global occupational safety and health congress XXI World Congress on Safety and Health at Work(3-6 Sept. 2017) in Singapore, at which over 3.000 experts from around the Globe are expected. The WCSH will be held from 6-9 September 2017 in Singapore. During the 2-hour session on “Prevention Pays! The role of accident insurance and the return to work reintegration”, scheduled for 4 September, José Hernán Alfonso and Patricia Weinert will present the challenges of OSD and call for OSD minimum standards. This is a great opportunity to give StanDerm a platform to communicate and to discuss the Action’s key concern with experts and stakeholders. Follow: #WorldCongress2017 | @WorldCongressSH

StanDerm's grand finale

23 May 2017 | Successful final workshop 18-19 May 2017 (Berlin) with major achievements

Four years of intensive work of the COST Action TD 1206 "StanDerm" have come to an end. The final workshop was held from 18-19 May 2017 in Berlin with almost 70 participants from 21 countries at the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) premises.   Throughout the lifetime of the Action, the pan-European network has been growing with initially 25 countries and over time extended to 31 countries actively being involved in StanDerm. The achievements but also challenges ahead pertaining to the field of occupational skin diseases, including skin cancer, are well reflected in the presentations made by the chairs during the final event.    The position paper on the (minimum) standards on the prevention, diagnosis and management of occupational skin diseases (OSD), discussed and commented at a podium discussion with Union and Social Security representatives from Brussels, is an important outcome of the Action. It is a blueprint for how to deal with prevention and management of word-related (WRDS) and occupational skin diseases as this is still often not sufficiently followed. The paper will be published in a JEADV supplement in June 2017 and made available to all specialized physicians involved in occupational care, stakeholders, organizations and industry involved in preventing WRSD and OSD.    

Strong concerns on self-testing for contact sensitization to hair dyes

22 March 2017 | Statement by StanDerm

StanDerm expresses its concern vis-à-vis the position of the European Commission with regard to skin testing methods recommended by the manufacturers of oxidative hair dyes. Different views have been expressed and StanDerm fully supports the position taken by the hairdressing social partners (Coiffure EU and UNI Europa), namely to abandon the self-testing method and to replace it with a scientifically based questionnaire, and very importantly, to consult a dermatologist/allergologist. StanDerm adopted the following statement. In order to find out whether consumers are allergic to certain dyes and colouring substances, manufacturers recommend that a self-test is carried out before product use. In addition to the methodological and scientific concerns of the social partners on the self-test method, it appears that a significant proportion of the hairdressers applying this method are unable to interpret its results nor do they have the appropriate training made available. The social partners call for the abolition of the self-testing method.

Occupational dermatoses in Spain

09 March 2017 | Annual training course organized by Hospital del Mar in Barcelona.

For the 7th consecutive time, the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona organized under the guidance of Prof. Dr. Ana Gimenez Arnau the annual training course on occupational dermatoses with an interdisciplinary approach devoted to the various facets of this disease. Particular attention was given to the patient treatment, which involves coordinated care provided by different disciplines. Also in Spain occupational dermatoses affects about 10% of the working population, having a significant socio- economic impact, amongst others due to the reported sick leave and loss of job and/or retraining. Prevention is therefore an important requisite as emphasized during the course. Ana Gimenez Arnau also drew attention to the position paper of StanDerm on the need to standardize patient management and prevention of occupational skin diseases throughout Europe.  The paper will be published in May at the occasion of the final workshop of StanDerm (Berlin, 18-19 May).  
© StanDerm

We are up there with the best!

20 January 2017 | StanDerm contributions on OSC amongst top 20 2016 JEADV articles

Amongst the most shared and cited 2016 JEADV articles appear StanDerm´s contributions published in the JEADV supplement volume 30, S 3. The publication “Non-melanoma Skin Cancer by Solar UV. The Neglected Occupational Threat”, provides an overview and highlights new research on the current European status quo regarding epidemiology, risk assessment and UVR exposure measurement, legal management and health care services provided to affected workers. The consensus report, most shared, calls European member states to recognize NMSC as an occupational disease and the EU Commission to revise the 2006 Directive on Artificial Optical Radiation (2006/25EC) to include solar UV radiation within its scope.

Argentinean Congress of Dermatology

08 December 2016 | International exchange on the prevention of occupational skin diseases in Buenos Aires

At the 65th course on continuous medical education in Dermatology in Buenos Aires (22-26 November 2016), StanDerm was represented by Dr. José Alfonso (National Institute of Occupational Health/STAMI, Norway) with a series of lectures on occupational skin diseases. He focused on European standards for the prevention of occupational skin diseases as well as on the UV exposure risks for outdoor workers. Dr. An Goossens (Belgium), also member of StanDerm, reflected on important aspects of contact dermatitis mainly caused by contact with chemical or physical agents. This meeting was an excellent opportunity to exchange amongst experts from Europe, Argentina and South America on the various prevention approaches applied to improve workers´ risks of developing a work-related skin disease and to bring forward joint research activities. Of particular interest were presentations made by the Research Group on Contact Dermatitis from the Argentinean Society of Dermatology on results gained from work-related contact dermatitis projects initiated after the inclusion of Argentina in StanDerm.    An Goossens, José Hernan Alfonso (from left to right)
© StanDerm

Sucessful StanDerm WG Summit and Workshop

20 October 2016 | Krakow, 12-13 October 2016

meeting of working groups an workshop was held in Krakow, Poland on 12 and 13 October 2016  hosted by Prof. Dr. Radoslaw Spiewak from the Jagiellonian University Krakow, Department of Experimental Dermatology and Cosmetology. 
A total of 64 StanDerm members from 23 countries met in a combination of parallel and plenary sessions. A working group summit, carried out on Day 1, focused on important research issues of the working groups. At the end of Day 1 a core group meeting was held to discuss StanDerm's final workshop 2017 in Berlin. At the workshop on Day 2 keynote speakers addressed selected topics important to the field of improved prevention and patient management in OSD. 

StanDerm Twitter account now online

04 August 2016 |

In July, we launched the new StanDerm twitter account @standerm_eu  which you can access at  

StanDerm's twitter account is a platform to communicate and share information relevant to the project, and to tweet out news on related topics. The hashtag #standerm is used for events and other news.  We hope that many of you choose to follow us and we can extend our networking activities. 

Sun exposure in outdoor workers

25 July 2016 | Recent study produces surprising results.

Outdoor workers are exposed to more sunlight and therefore to more carcinogenic ultraviolet radiation than other workers. Tailored prevention activity is therefore important. Before now, accurate information was not availbale on the extent to which particular occupations are associated with exposure to sunlight.  This information has now been provided by the Institute for Occupational Safety and Health of the German Social Accident Insurance (IFA) as the result of a major study conducted to date on 600 persons using the GENESIS-UV system.  "We were really surprised by some of the results", says Dr. Marc Wittlich, manager of the project and member of StanDerms' WG 3 Subgroup on UV-induced skin cancer. "Sewer construction and quarry workers are exposed to over three times as much UV radiation as persons working in arable farming or making postal deliveries on foot. Exposure on construction  sites for example varies widely, depending upon whether roofing work is being performed or scaffolds erected." The reasons for this, Dr. Wittlich says, must now be examined more closely.

EU Framework Agreement on Occupational Health and Safety in the Hairdressing sector signed

30 June 2016 | Social partners' persitence finally pays off

After many years of efforts and determination at EU level,  UNI Europa Hair & Beauty and Coiffure EU have signed the European framework agreement on the protection of health and safetyThe signing of this agreement is a milestone, not only for the hairdressing sector but also for the European Social Dialogue as a whole. The signature of this agreement means that the social partners now officially request its implementation as European law. This would ensure that hairdressers across Europe are protected by the same laws and provisions creating a level playing field.  Protecting the health and safety of hairdressers is crucial as they are 10 times more likely to developed skin conditions than the average worker. Moreover, hairdressers are regularly exposed to chemicals that research suggests potentially causes cancer.    Photo: UNI Global union

ESCD 2016

30 May 2016 | Congress of the European Society of Contact Dermatitis 14-17 Sept. in Manchester (UK)

The 13 th Congress of the European Society of Contact Dermatitis (ESCD) will take place in Manchester 14 – 17 September 2016.  The meeting starts with a one day presymposium on occupational skin disease. The scientific programme is now complete and full details can be found on the ESCD2016 website. There are a limited number of late breaking abstract spaces available in the Hot Topics session please click on the right hand link for details. There is a course on Saturday 17th targeted specifically at nurses and trainees. If you have not yet already done so please do not forget to register for the Congress.  Please do so before the *30 th June* to take advantage of the early bird rate at


Sign the Global Call to Action

22 April 2016 | Protect outdoor workers from UV radiation caused by the sun.

On 20 April 2016, a Global Call to Action was launched by the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV) to urge policy makers, employers' and workers' organisations, and physicians to protect Europe's outdoor workers from skin cancer caused by solar UV-radiation.  The Call to Action entails six main actions to ensure a better protection of outdoor workers. As underlined by Prof. Swen Malte John, chair of our StanDerm Action and chair of the EADV Media & PR Committee, during a 2-hour policy debate at the European Parliament, there are easy, simple and cheap solutions to avoid this preventable type of cancer. Currently, however, there is no EU-wide requirement to protect workers at risk. That´s why the EADV is asking everybody to support the call to action to raise awareness of the dangers of non-melanoma skin cancer for Europe's outdoor workers.  Add your name to the list and send a clear message to policy makers that they also need to take action now and protect Europe's outdoor workers.  Click here to sign. 


Non-melanoma Skin Cancer by Solar UV

04 April 2016 | New report published on the neglected occupational threat for almost 14.5. million European workers.

There are almost 14.5 million workers in Europe, who spend at least 75% of their working time under the sun. StanDerm members, in collaboration with the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV), recently published a new report which clearly shows that this major part of Europe’s workforce is under an increased risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). The report entitled “Non-melanoma Skin Cancer by Solar UV. The Neglected Occupational Threat”, provides an overview and highlights new research on the current European status quo regarding epidemiology, risk assessment and UVR exposure measurement, legal management and health care services provided to affected workers. In a consensus report found in the same publication, the experts call European member states to recognise NMSC as an occupational disease and the EU Commission to revise the 2006 Directive on Artificial Optical Radiation (2006/25EC) to include solar UV radiation within its scope. The Directive currently completely excludes sunlight exposure of worker. "Prevention is simple and cheap, and skin cancer is one of the few cancers entirely curable if detected early," comments Prof. Dr. Swen Malte John, one of the editors of the report, and Action Chair of StanDerm. 


Training School Occupational Skin Cancer

03 February 2016 | Call for the upcoming TS in Modena, Italy, 5-7 September 2016.

StanDerms' 3rd Training School addresses all MDs, PhD students, early postdocs and young professionals from related fields interested in improving skills in prvention, diagnosis and treatment of Occupational Skin Cancers (OSCs). The event will be organized by the Chair of Dermatology and the Chair of Occupational Medicine of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy. The aim of this international, multi-disciplinary course is to combine theoretical perspectives with practical up-to-date information on solar radiation exposure, new therapeutic perspectives of OSC treatment as well  as its legal recognition and prevention in Europe. 
Registration deadline: 15 April.  

Better regulation and transparency

10 December 2015 | StanDerm expresses concerns about EU Commission publication

In response  to an image used by the European Commission in a recent publication on Better regulation and transparency”

StanDerm sent a letter to the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Mrs. Marianne Thyssen to convey its support with the concerns expressed by  Coiffure EU and UNI Europa and the European Association of Dermatology and Venereology (EADV)  about this taunting image. The Commission openly mocks the ongoing efforts of social partners to implement a European Framework Agreement on health and safety in the hairdressing sector signed in April 2012, under the presence of the then Commissioner of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Laszlo Andor. WHO and ILO, together with the EADV regarded it a major European breakthrough in safety and health since it is an autonomous initiative on the part of the workers and employers of the hairdressing sector. 

© European Commission

New Action member

07 December 2015 | Montenegro joining StanDerm

 A warm welcome to Dr Natasa Vukotic-Djuricanin and Dr Milena Djurovic as new members of our Action.  Both are working as dermatologists at the Dermato-Venereological Clinic of the Clinical Center of Montenegro in Podgorica since over 15 years. This is the 17th inclusiveness target country joining StanDerm, comprising now a total of 31 countries represented in this Action. 

WHO Call to Action

02 December 2015 | Sign the call to protect health from climate change.

The WHO is keen to promote health as a key focus at the Climate Change Summit held from 30 November 60 11 December 2015 in Paris. It therefore issued a call to join WHO Call to Action to protect health from climate change. As dermatologists, this is our chance to raise the importance of ultraviolet light and skin cancer. The Action chair, encourages all StanDerm members to consider signing this call to action on behalf of their organisations to highlight the importance of dermatological health to this important movement. 

Moving Ahead - Vision.Human.Work

23 November 2015 | 4th International Strategy Conference 21-24 March 2016 in Dresden, Germany.

The 4th International Strategy Conference on Safety and Health at Work (ISC2016) will be taking a closer look at the top trends in what is currently being discussed in occupational safety and health. International and national experts are invited to join the conference between 21 and 24 March 2016 in Dresden, Germany to network and exchange their views on the future of prevention. The Action chair will be a key note speaker on occupational skin cancer.  

Working Group meetings in 2016

16 November 2015 | Update of meeting calendar.

With the start of 2016, each StanDerm working group (WG 1 - WG 5) will hold their annual meeting. For more details about the meeting date and venue, please click the respective working group and go to agenda.

Croatian Congress on Occupational Health

26 October 2015 | StanDerm's vice-chair represented the Action in Sibenik.

At the 6th Croatian Congress  on Occupational Health (30 September - 4 October 2015), StanDerm was presented by its vice-chair Dr. Sanja Kezic with a plenary lecture entitled „Science as a base - Occupational skin diseases: current research and prevention activities in Europe“Dr. Kezic focused on the recent advances in the field of OSD aetiology including the role of individual risk factors. Furthermore, she summarized the results of current prevention acitivites in Europe.   The lecture was held on the first day of the Congress, together with presentations of WHO-SEENWH, ICOH, and European Association of Schools of Occupational Medicine (EASOM) representatives. Dr. Kezic´s presentation raised great interest among participants.  At the request of participants, handouts are now available on the official website of the Croatian Society on Occupational HealthAn abstract of the presentation is published in the Congress Book of abstracts.     

Classification of MCIT/MIT

05 October 2015 | StanDerm submitted statement to the CLH public consultation.

On 26 August, StanDerm submitted a statement to the CLH public consultation related to the proposed classification of MCIT/MIT.  After having considered the report for 2-methylisothiazol-3(2H)-one (MIT), StanDerm postulates that the limits for attributing the H317 risk phrase and for labeling MIT should not be higher than the presently recommended maximum use concentrations for rinse-off cosmetics (see SCCS/1521/13). Based on extensive clinical experience, the proposed threshold concentration of 0.06% is definitely not low enough to protect workers and consumers from skin sensitization.

StanDerm impacts on the relevance of preventing occupational skin diseases in Norway

16 September 2015 | Online media presentation on 15 October.

Our member Jose Hernan Alfonso is bringing occupational skin diseases to the forefront of dermatology and media in Norway. On 15 October, he will give a presentation on epidemiology of work-related skin diseases in an open conference organized by the National Institute of Occupational Health of Norway. The conference will also be transmitted live online

Slovakia joining StanDerm

14 September 2015 | StanDerm continues to attract countries from the Eastern part of Europe.

Slovakia's application as new member of StanDerm is already underway and we look forward to welcoming Dr. Slavomir URBANCEK as respresenative at the Management Committee (MC) very soon. The next MC meeting will be held on the occasion of the StandDerm Workshop in Copenhagen (6 October 2015).

Short-term Scientific Mission (STSM)

01 July 2015 | Call launched for 3rd grant year.

The 3rd grant year (1 June 2015 – 31 May 2016) has been approved. Therefore, the next Call for short-term scientific missions (STSM) is now launched.  Note that all interested STSM applicants must be engaged in an official research programme as a PhD Student or postdoctoral fellow or can be employed by, or affiliated to, an Institution or legal entity which has within its remit a clear association with performing research.  

Training School Patch Testing

22 June 2015 | The next TS will be held in Erlangen, Germany, 20 - 24 July 2015.

The seminar addresses all MDs, PhD students, early postdocs and young professionals from related fields interested in improving their skills in patch testing. Besides live reading and interpreting of patch test reactions in patients from the patch test clinics of the Department of Dermatology, an interacitve electronic tele-vote system assisted reading of selected reactions from the patch test training module of the German contact dermatitis research group will allow participatns to interpret rare and difficult reactions. Novel insights on epidemiological trends in contact dermatitis and intersting cases from several patch test clinics from different European countries will be discussed. A total of 17 participants from all over Europe and Turkey, which has just recently joined StanDerm, have signed up for the Action's second training school in Erlangen.

Upcoming StanDerm WG Summit and Workshop

02 June 2015 | StanDerm´s lifecycle is halfway through: time for a review.

The next StanDerm workshop will take place from 5-6 October in Copenhagen, Denmark prior to the EADV congress.  A working group summit, carried out on Day 1, will focus on important research issues of the working groups. At the workshop on Day 2 keynote speakers shall address selected topics of strong relevance to the field of occupational dermatoses.

Skin cancer induced by natural UV radiation: Discussions led in Brussels

22 May 2015 | StanDerm representatives are once again ensuring that the right strategies for the prevention of OSD are clearly heard in Brussels.

StanDerm´s chair, Swen Malte John, together with other StanDerm representatives, EADV President Erwin Tschachler and WHO representative Emilie Van Deventer  met with Stefaan Hermans,  Head of Cabinet of the Commissioner of EU-DG EMPL on 19 May 2015 to discuss inter alia  the Directive 2006/25/EC dealing with the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to risks arising from physical agents, namely artificial optical radiation. The possible need for revision and improvement of the Directive to include risks and prevention measures related to solar sources affecting outdoor workers was the focus of discussion.  Sun exposure at workplaces is a highly relevant and at the same time almost neglected occupational health hazard, leading to Non-melanoma Skin Cancer (NMSC).  Recent large-scale meta-analyses have demonstrated that outdoor workers are at least at a 43% higher risk for basalioma, and an almost doubled risk for squamous cell carcinoma.  However, to date, most countries have not incorporated UV-induced occupational NMSC in their national occupational diseases lists. Hence, specific work protection laws with set exposure limits have to include solar UV-radiation, and not only, as presently at the EU level, UV-radiation from artificial sources.

Early Stage Researchers Forum

10 March 2015 | Young scientists will present their most recent research findings in Munich.

The Early Stage Researchers Forum, followed by a half-day seminar will be held on 29 July 2015 in Munich at the occasion of the 4th International Summer Academy of Practical Dermatology (ISA 2015). 

Turkey new Action member

05 February 2015 | StanDerm continues to attract countries from the Eastern part of Europe.

In April, Turkey has become new member of StanDerm and is represented by Dr. Mehmet MELIKOGLU, Ataturk University Medical Faculty, Dept. Dermatology in Erzurum, at the Management Committee (MC). 

New Action members

03 November 2014 | StanDerm´s membership is growing: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia joined our Action.

Two new parties have joined our COST Action StanDerm: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia. This makes a total of 29 parties represented in StanDerm. 

International Partner Countries

16 June 2014 | Non-COST applications to the Action.

The application of the School of Public Health and Family Medicine from Cape Town University, South Africa, and the application of the Association of Dermatologists in Argentina were approved by COST Brussels office.

StanDerm stands tall for healthy skin at work

17 March 2014 | Taking prevention standards in OSD to the EU level.

On 5 November 2013, StanDerm experts organized a debate with members of the European Parliament from different political parties and European Commission policy officials on the latest research findings and the scientific basis for the prevention of the disease in Brussels. The meeting was attended by representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA), the European Commission and COST office representatives.