herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Law the best blocker for sunbed sinners

Sunbed
Sunbed

I often write here about the things you should do to make holidays in the sun safer and better value, but one of them is never tanning before you go, unless it's out of a bottle.

I'm a Factor 50 girl myself and am conscious more than ever as I get older of the dangers of sun exposure. Don't get me wrong - I love the heat and a few days away under a hot sun does wonders - but I always keep my skin protected.

I've never been a fan of sunbeds and was delighted when they were banned for under 18s a couple of years ago, especially after extraordinary stories appeared about children as young as seven being exposed to them for a 'Communion tan' - crazy!

Now Health Minister Leo Varakdar has taken further steps to save even adults from themselves when it comes to the dangers of skin cancer.

From next Monday salons will no longer be able to advertise happy hours, i.e. cut-price tanning sessions. Free trials and unlimited use periods will also be banned and salons will have to display warning signs about the dangers of their products.

Skin cancer (melonoma) is the fastest growing cancer type in Ireland with 850 new cases every year. I know many people think it's "just a mole" and that it's easily treated, but 150 people die every year from melanoma.

With new salons opening all the time and prices from as little as 75c per minute, I'm all for further regulation, if not an outright ban.

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