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Sunbeds on skid row

Thursday 15 November, 2012

Sunbeds on skid row

As part of the Sunbed Action Group the Cancer Society is delighted by the private member’s bill: Health (Skin Cancer and Trauma Prevention) Amendment put forward by Dr Paul Hutchison MP and Health Select Chair. “We have worked long and hard to highlight that exposure to UVR from sunbed use is not only unnecessary but dangerous,” said Health Promotion Manager, Dr Jan Pearson.

“We support Dr Hutchison’s initiative to protect New Zealand consumers from unnecessary sunbed danger – especially our impressionable youth. The latest Consumer NZ mystery shopper sunbed survey, published in September 2012, has again shown that many sunbed operators are not complying with their current voluntary standard. Dr Hutchison’s bill, when passed, will ensure those who provide sunbed services are licensed and regulated. Licensing and regulating the providers will give consumers some assurance that the service they are paying for has some safeguards.”

Every year over 300 New Zealanders die from Melanoma – the most deadly form of skin cancer. Skin cancer is New Zealands most common cancer. “Tightening up the way sunbed operators work is one step we can take to reduce our high skin cancer rates and reduce the cost to our health system. We applaud the New South Wales announcement in February 2012 to ban sunbeds, commencing in 2015,” added Dr Pearson.

The introduction of the new law will ensure:
• Those under 18 and those with very fair skin will not be allowed to use a sunbed
• All consumers will be fully informed of the risks (although no sunbeds are safe from risk)
• All sunbeds will be operated by someone who is a licensed provider who adheres to all the safety requirements.
“The time to regulate providers of sunbed and other associated services has come.”


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