Sunday 25 February 2018

Irish Cancer Society seeks sun-bed tanning ban for fair-skinned people

Damaged skin doubles a person's risk of skin cancer
Damaged skin doubles a person's risk of skin cancer

David Kearns

Banning the fair-skinned from using sun beds is the only way to clamp down on cancer risks, says the Irish Cancer Society.

The group expressed their disappointment over the decision not to include a 'fair-skin' ban under new legislation governing the use of sunbeds in Ireland.

Speaking to independent.ie, the group’s Health Promotion officer Rosemary Scott said that the ban was “not about limiting people’s choice” but protecting those that will “never tan.”

“It is about the simple fact that the vast majority of the fair-skinned using sun beds will always burn,” she said.

“If they don’t tan under the sun, they wouldn’t with a bed or lamp. That’s why we wanted to take the legislation further and include a ban on those with the fairest skin types because all these people are doing is increasing their risk of skin cancer.”

Ms Scott said that figures showed that more than 75pc of Irish people fall into Type 1 and Type 2 skin categories.

The latter are unlikely to ever tan under sunlight or using a bed, while the former will almost certainly burn under either.

“We don’t want anyone using sunbeds but it is especially important to protect those most at risk,” said Ms Scott.

“If you are fair skinned, you shouldn’t be tanning period. Damaged skin more than doubles the risk of skin cancer.”

On Monday, new legalisation was introduced that banned tanning salons from offering ‘happy hour’ promotions – with some salons in Dublin and Galway offering prices as low as 50c per minute on tanning beds and lamps.

The outlawed “happy hours” come eight months after a prohibition on sunbed use by under 18s.

Tanning salons now will also be required to display warning signs and provide information on the risks.

“We’re hopefully that these changes will help Irish people make more mature decisions when it comes to the health of our skin,” said Ms Scott.

“As a nation, we still very compliance when it comes to the Sun and the dangers that coming with tanning.”

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