The Irish Cancer Society has said that legislation governing the use of sunbeds in Ireland has not gone far enough in clamping down on cancer risks.
ICS's Head of Advocacy Kathleen O'Meara told RTE's Morning Ireland today that the legislation will bring tighter regulation on sunbed use, but the society will seek further amendments.
The Minister for Health James Reilly unveiled the Public Health (Sundbeds) Bill 2013 this week.
He said action was required to “protect the public, in particular children and young persons, from the risk of skin damage”.
Ms O'Meara said: "We wanted to include prohibition of people with type 1 and type 2 skin," which accounts for much of Ireland's population.
Type 1 and type 2 are the fairest skin types.
Ms O'Meara said research has proved that sunbeds are "as dangerous as tobacco or plutonium" in terms of causing cancer.
She said: "There is no regulation at the moment - absolutely no regulation of sunbeds, and sunbeds are a major cancer risk."
When the new legislation is passed, under-18s will be banned from using sunbeds; warnings will be placed in salons; there will be training for workers; and noone will be able to use sunbeds unsupervised.
Ms O'Meara told RTE's Morning Ireland that the ICS had previously expressed concern about sunbeds being available in "strange places" like video shops, and these have now disappeared.
"There are no health benefits [to sunbeds] except in some very, very small and supervised situations."
She said: "Regulations such as this will in time reduce the rate of skin cancer in Ireland."