Young people * Healthy living

Sunbed ban for under 18s

sunbeds banned for under 18s New law passed by the House of Lords

A private members bill to ban the use of sunbeds by under 18s has been passed by the House of Lords. The bill, supported by Girls Aloud singer Nicola Robert, mirrors a similar ban introduced by the Scottish Parliament in 2008.

Charity Cancer Research UK campaigned for the ban to protect young people from the dangerous effects of UV exposure caused by sunbeds. Speaking on behalf of the charity, Aisling Burnand commented “We’re thrilled that the bill to stop under 18s using sunbeds has passed through the House of Lords and will become law a year today. This is a monumental achievement and legislation will go a long way to curb the alarming numbers of teenagers that use sunbeds.”

Sunbeds have been classified by the World Health Organization as having the same carcinogen level as tobacco, with the UV levels of some being 10-15 times greater than those of the midday sun.

As sunbed users under 35 are 75 per cent higher risk of developing malignant melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, this ban is well timed.

Burnand also said that “research recently published in the British Medical Journal found that a quarter of a million children in England between the ages of 11 and 17 regularly use sunbeds. Cancer Research UK looks forward to working with the next government to ensure all salons are properly staffed and all adults are given appropriate information warning them of potential dangers to their long term health.”

She also thanked the efforts of the Girls Aloud singer Nicola Robert who had taken part in the campaign, and the work of MPs Julie Morgan MP for Cardiff North, Sian James MP for Swansea East in getting the bill through the parliamentary process.

This article was published on Fri 9 April 2010

Image © Dreef -

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