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Thursday 27th October 2016

Child sunbed ban urged

13th November 2009

The charity Cancer Research UK has called for a ban on use of sunbeds in England by people under 18 years.


A study funded by the government of more than 9,000 children found 6% had used a sunbed and in some areas of the country 40% of teenagers used them every week.

The charity estimated 250,000 11 to 17-year-olds in England are risking skin cancer by using sunbeds and has now called for the ban through an article in the British Medical Journal.

Usage by teenage girls was particularly high in the north of England in cities such as Liverpool and Sunderland with about 50% of 15-17-year-olds having used a sunbed.

Evidence has suggested that voluntary regulation is not work.

Meanwhile, legislation is already in place in Scotland to restrict sunbed use to adults with similar moves planned in Wales and consultation proposed in Northern Ireland.

Research has shown that sunbed use before the age of 35 is linked with a 75% increased risk of developing malignant melanoma.

Catherine Thomson, head of statistical information at Cancer Research UK, said the figures in particular from Liverpool and Sunderland were alarmingly high.

“We firmly believe that legislation is the only way to protect under-18s - salons should not be allowed to be unmanned,” she said.

The Sunbed Association said its members and most others salons would not permit anyone under 16 to use sun beds and that it would amend its Code of Practice to come into line with new legal restrictions as they were introduced.


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