Cancer society calls for sunbed consent forms

EVERYONE using a sunbed must sign a consent form under planned legislation on the use of the tanning machines, the Irish Cancer Society has urged.

The society advises people to avoid sunbed use believes there should be an outright ban on their use.

Nevertheless, it has welcomed the start of a six-week public consultation process by Health Minister, Mary Harney, on proposed legislation that will prohibit sunbed use by under 18s.

The society’s communication manager, Jane Curtin, said a recommendation to ban sunbed usage by under 16s was first made when the National Cancer Control Strategy was published in June 2006.

“So even though we have waited for nearly two years to see any progress on this, we are delighted that the proposed age limit is now 18 years,” she said.

“Sun beds are completely unsafe and represent a significant danger to consumers and, ultimately, there should be an outright ban.”

The ICS is anxious that the proposed legislation should ensure that warning notices be displayed in the immediate view of every client.

Claims of a health benefit should not be made in the promotion of sunbed use. And each client should fill out a consent form before a course of one of two exposure sessions.

The society also wants sunbed manufacturers to provide a maximum exposure recommendation based on the emission characteristics of the tanning machine.

Ms Harney is considering introducing a ban on under 18s using sunbeds, controls on their sale and rental and regulation of supervision at tanning booths.

Anyone wanting more information on skin cancer prevention and the dangers of sunbeds can call the National Cancer Helpline on freephone 1800 200 700.


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