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Sunbeds not for teens - radiation experts

Monday June 22nd, 2009

Sunbed companies may face tough regulation after a government advisory body warned of the cancer risk from their use.

Commercial companies should be licensed and registered and banned from hiring beds to young people under the age of 18, according to new recommendations.

Licensed operators should be required to give customers written details of the risk from sunbeds, according to the report of the Committee on the Medical Asepcts of Radiation in the Environment.

The report states: "The use of sunbeds is not associated with added protection from sun exposure and the practice of using sunbeds to synthesise vitamin D is not recommended due to the cancer risk and high frequency of side effects."

It warns of growing use of sunbeds by children and young adults.

A leading cancer charity welcomed the findings.

Cancer Research UK said "binge tanning" continued to contribute to growing rates of the deadliest skin cancer, melanoma.

Sarah Woolnough, of Cancer Research UK, said: "The Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment is supporting our bid to ban under 18s from using sunbeds, close salons that aren't supervised by trained staff and ensure information about the risks of using sunbeds is given to all customers. Now we want the government to act.

"The COMARE report clearly shows there are no health benefits from using sunbeds recreationally and we hope sunbed retailers who do advertise sunbeds as healthy will take note of the recommendations and stop immediately."

She added: "Introducing legislation would be a huge step in the right direction to help prevent so many people developing the disease."

Tags: Cancer | Child Health | Dermatology | General Health | UK News | Women’s Health & Gynaecology

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