herald

Monday 23 October 2017

New law bans children from using sunbeds

NEWLY-appointed Minister for Health Leo Varadker has banned children from using sunbeds.

From Monday morning, minors won't be allowed to use the controversial sunbeds to achieve a tanned look.

They are to be banned from buying or renting a bed or using one in a tanning salon.

The Dublin West minister said the move shows what he intends to achieve.

"My emphasis as Minister for Health is on health prevention, and this measure will play an important role in that regard," he said.

He is picking up where his predecessor James Reilly left off in relation to sunbed legislation.

Nationally our fair skin puts us at greater risk of the disease and around 150 people a year die from the disease.

The links between the deadly disease and the use of sunbeds to artificially achieve a tan have been well-documented in recent years.

"This is an essential step to protect children's health and well-being and an important preventative measure in terms of skin cancer," Minister Varadkar said.

Salons

Already the majority of salons in Dublin won't allow people under 18 to use their beds.

ID is required to use beds in many city centre salons at the moment. Now that the ban has been officially implemented it will be enforced by Environmental Health Officers on behalf of the HSE.

Kathleen O'Meara of the Irish Cancer Society said that sunbeds are in the highest risk category for causing cancer.

"Every year, up to 28,000 children and young people risk their lives in search of a tan," she said.

Yesterday a number of health bodies welcomed the news that children are now prohibited from using the beds.

Sunbeds produce an artificial UV light that is dangerous in high doses.

Younger users put themselves at a greater risk. According to research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer when people use the beds before they are 30, their risk of developing melanoma is increased by 75pc.

Limitations are to be placed on the unsupervised use of the beds which will be published in coming months.

hnews@herald.ie

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