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New rules will limit sunbed use as risk of skin cancer rises




Leo Varadkar

Leo Varadkar



Sunbed users will no longer be offered "happy hours" or special offers for unlimited use from next month.

New regulations coming into effect from March 2 will see users being required to wear protective eyewear, and they will not be allowed to use sunbeds without supervision.

Stricter hygiene standards are also being put in place.

Sunbed business owners will have to display warning signs, provide information on the risks and refrain from claims of the beds being beneficial to health.

"The more that someone uses a sunbed, the higher the risk they will get skin cancer," said Health Minister Leo Varadkar, announcing the new rules.

"Skin cancer is increasing faster than any other type. More than 850 new cases of melanoma are reported in Ireland each year, with 150 Irish people dying annually."

The new measures follow a ban on under-18s using sunbeds which came into effect last year.

HSE environmental health officers will enforce the regulations and penalties will apply for non-compliance.


New sunbed businesses will also be required to notify the HSE of their existence and the agency will establish a register.

The Marie Keating Foundation cancer charity said younger people who use sunbeds are particularly at risk.

"In light of the undeniable evidence that use of sunbeds is a direct cause of skin cancer, we are very pleased to see the introduction of these new regulations," said Liz Yeates, the foundation's director of public affairs.

"We know that younger people under the age of 30 who use sunbeds are particularly at risk and have a 75pc increased risk of developing malignant melanoma."

The HSE said it will write to sunbed businesses to advise them how they can comply with the new legal requirements.