SunSmart shame: alarming results of sunbed survey
> 16 November 2007
> SunSmart shame: alarming results of sunbed survey
> A Green Party survey of sunbed operations in the Wellington region has
> found that most are flouting industry standards and many are exposing
> young girls to serious health risks.
> Nearly half of the clinics surveyed have no minimum age limit for
> customers and allow under 15 year olds to use their tanning
> facilities, despite industry guidelines stipulating that under 15 year
> olds should never use sunbeds, and under 18 year olds only with
> parental approval.
> Studies by The International Agency for Research on Cancer show that
> the risk of developing melanoma increased by 75 percent among those
> who had first used a solarium in their teens or twenties.
> Green Party Health spokesperson Sue Kedgley said the results were
> particularly concerning coming as they did at the end of SunSmart
> week, and showed an urgent need for industry regulation.
> "These results show the urgent need for the new Minister of Health to
> regulate the sunbed industry," Ms Kedgley says.
> "It is completely unacceptable for professionals to expose children to
> UV rays up to five times the strength of the midday summer sun."
> Ms Kedgley said the survey also revealed that in some instances
> clinics are using safety information that the New Zealand Cancer
> Society says is 'dangerous and misleading'.
> "The information some of these outfits are basing their practice on is
> completely incorrect, which raises more ethical and legal issues," Ms
> Kedgley says.
> One clinic gets its safety information from a website which says:
> "There actually have been no statistically significant connections
> found between moderate indoor tanning and increased melanoma risk".
> "This sort of information is simply wrong, and encourages the
> perception many young girls have that sunbeds are a safe way to get a
> tan. Many young girls are completely unaware that they may be
> increasing their melanoma risk by 75 percent.
> "It's not just back-alley businesses who are in question here. Some of
> the worst results came from big name gyms."