Irish Cancer Society welcomes ban on tanning happy hours and unlimited use saying sunbeds are as carcinogenic as tobacco or plutonium
The Irish Cancer society has welcomed the new health and safety regulations on the use of sunbeds will come into affect from from March 2nd.
The updated regulations were announced by Health Minister, Leo Varadkar on Monday and will see commercial sunbed ‘happy hours’, and 'unlimited' or 'free' use of sunbeds by tanning and beauty salons banned in an effort to reduce skin cancer.
Kathleen O’Meara, spokesperson for the Irish Cancer Society said the group would advise everybody against sunbed use, and that it was vital that young people who are most at risk were protected.
“These new regulations highlight the dangers of sunbed use for everyone, whatever your age or skin type. Sunbed use is as carcinogenic as tobacco or plutonium," she said.
"It is our hope that this legislation will mark a turning point in attitudes to using sunbeds in Ireland," she added.
Minister Varadkar said the regulations were designed to "make sure that adults know the risks".
“More and more evidence is emerging that using a sunbed without protective eyewear can damage the eye and potentially cause cancers. These new measures will ensure that protective eyewear which meets safety standards is used,”he said.
The changes will add further restrictions on sunbed use, following on from the then health minister, Dr James Reilly's ban on under 18s using them. The measures come under the Public Health (Sunbeds) Act.
Sunbeds are classified as a group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Regular use can cause melanoma skin cancer, one of the most common causes of cancer in Ireland, with more than 850 new cases of melanoma each year. More than 150 Irish people die each year from melanoma.
The new regulations will mean that sunbed shops and business that offer their use will have to display warning signs for patrons and provide information on the risks involved with their use. They must also refrain from posting any health claims.
People who still use sunbeds will now have to wear protective eyewear by law, and won’t be able to use sunbeds without supervision. It's also understood that new rules regarding hygiene standards are to be put in place.
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