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Work Place Doctor Opposes Sunbed Use

Work Place Doctor Opposes Sunbed Use

December 9, 2014

A leading Occupational Health and Safety Doctor has added his weight to concerns over the risks of commercial artificial UV tanning services.

Dr Simon Ryder-Lewis, warns that, at the start of summer, people will still continue to use sunbeds or over-bake on the beach or outdoors, exposing themselves to the risk of skin cancer.

“When skin is exposed to ultra violet radiation it darkens as a protective response to the rays which can damage skin cell DNA,” he explains. “This can substantially increase the risks of melanoma over a period of time.”

Dr Ryder-Lewis, who’s the Medical Consultant to Accuro Health Insurance, strongly discourages people from using sunbeds to get a tan. He recommends everyone cover up this summer by using sunblock and wear wide brimmed hats, long sleeved clothing and wraparound sunglasses.

“We have a lot of problems in New Zealand with skin cancer, possibly because of our harsher light and lower levels of pollution,” he says.

He’s aware of concerns expressed by dermatologists who are seeing people, especially young women, with melanomas caused by artificial tanning and prolonged exposure to the sun.

“Illness resulting in surgery has a significant impact on the workforce and the wellbeing of families at home so I encourage everyone to take a responsible attitude this summer and identify the dangers of exposure,” Dr Ryder-Lewis says.

Through his business, Work Health Solutions which is based in the lower half of the North Island, he is challenging bosses, through their occupational health teams, to take an enlightened approach to caring for their staff and provide literature and advice about the dangers of melanoma and the use of sunbeds.

“The health of staff is vital to production, relationships and family life,” Dr Ryder-Lewis says.

He also encourages people to be pro-active about their health and get a skin or mole check prior to the holiday season. He says by looking after ourselves and being vigilant about our bodies, we can remain healthy and continue to play an important part in the community and the lives of others.

“Health insurance plays an essential role when people need medical intervention. In the case of melanoma you can very quickly be treated through the private system,” he says.

“Accuro places a strong emphasis on wellness and encourages people to take the lead to ensure they remain healthy.”


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