Calls for child sunbed ban

Posted: 23rd November 2023

Health experts have called for a ban on under-16s using sunbeds.

They claim it would save lives as skin cancer rates soar amid a fashion for all-year tans.

The disease is twice as common in teenagers and children as 20 years ago and they are most vulnerable to the ultraviolet rays emitted by the beds.

Alarmed by the rise, Cancer Research UK said it had agreed with the Sunbed Association that no one under 16 should be allowed to use a tanning bed.

Both organisations want the Government to shut coin-operated salons because they can be used by teenagers without supervision. And they want strict age guidelines imposed on the rest.

Doctors want outright ban

Cancer Research said many doctors wanted an outright ban. Sara Hiom, who heads the charity’s Sun Safe campaign, warned that some new high-intensity types of sunbed emitted 13 times the ultraviolet rays in sunshine. “We don’t know how many cancers are directly caused by sunbeds,” she said. “But a lot of patients were using them quite often.

“We are focusing our campaign on younger people but it isn’t safe to assume that you can use a sunbed at any age.”

The Sunbed Association represents about a quarter of the industry. Its secretary Kathy Banks said some rogue operators were putting lives at risk. They allowed children to use beds and turned a blind eye to customers with fair, freckly skin, who were most at risk.

Sunbed blamed for teen cancer

Katie Fowler used sunbeds from the age of 15 and blames them for the cancer which almost killed her. The 35-year-old desktop publisher, who topped up her tan four times a week, said: “When you’re young, you just want a good tan – you don’t think about the dangers.

“I was lucky. It can spread quite quickly through your body but luckily mine had not.

“I warn other women when I hear them talking about sunbeds, because the experience of being diagnosed with cancer is quite terrifying.”

Skin cancer cases have risen by a quarter in the past five years and 70,000 people are diagnosed each year, about 7,000 with the deadly malignant melanoma form. The disease is the third most common cancer in Britain, killing 1,700 people a year.

Most councils removed sunbeds from their leisure centres last year, saying it was unacceptable to profit from them because of worries about cancer.

Source: Calls for child sunbed ban | Daily Mail Online

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