Call to ban private use of solariums

CANCER Council has encouraged the State Government to ban the private possession and use of solariums in Queensland, following the release of data showing that 111 tanning beds were advertised online for sale in Queensland between October 2012 and October 2013.

A full ban on commercial solaria will take effect on December 31, 2014, but Queensland lives remain at risk with reports of people buying tanning beds for personal, unregulated use.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said a ban on the private possession and use of solariums was necessary to save Queensland lives.

"Solarium use can be lethal - every user of a sun bed is at risk of dying early from preventable skin cancer," Ms Clift said.

"It's a serious concern that Queenslanders would consider using solariums in their own home without supervision, increasing their personal risk of skin cancer.

"There is no such thing as a safe way to use solariums - unprotected exposure to UV radiation is extremely dangerous, particularly for young people.

"Research shows using a solarium before the age of 35 increases a person's risk of developing a melanoma by 59 per cent.

"We commend the State Government for their leadership in introducing a total ban on commercial solaria, to take effect later this year.

"In the interest of public health and saving Queensland lives, we need a ban on private possession and use to be urgently considered by the State Government."

Cancer Council Queensland also encouraged commercial solarium operators to hand existing sun beds over well before the deadline of December 31, 2014.

At the start of July, Queensland Health had collected, destroyed and paid incentive payments for 56 commercial solaria, with 143 registered commercial solaria in Queensland as at October 2013.

"The ban on commercial sunbeds reinforces the fact that UV radiation is not safe, and will help to protect young people from the dangerous practices of tanning," Ms Clift said.

"We urge all solarium operators to fully comply with the law, and to put the health of Queenslanders first by surrendering sun beds well before December."

Information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20 or 

Topics:  cancer council health solariums

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