|Cllr Jackie Smith:|
Cabinet Member for
Public health warnings have been issued after a Royal Borough of Greenwich inspection of tanning salons. The investigation by Royal Borough Trading Standards officers is part of a regional initiative funded by the government.
It follows concerns from results elsewhere in the country that many tanning salons are operating sunbeds which emit UV radiation levels above the safe legal limit - potentially increasing the risks of skin cancer for users.
Trading Standards previously advised all salons of compliance requirements and have been working with an environmental health licensing team to update operators’ licence conditions and provide advice and information on UV levels.
Royal Borough Public Health advisers explained that any exposure to a sun bed will increase your risk of developing skin cancer. They say sunbathers often believe that sunbeds are a ‘controlled way’ of getting a ‘safer tan’, but, they warn sunbeds can give out greater doses of UV rays than the midday tropical sun and can be more dangerous. They also stress that using sunbeds before the age of 35 increases the risk of skin cancer by up to 75% as well as speeding up the natural aging process.
At this time of year in the Summer and with Summer holidays it’s important to be safe in the sun even if you’re not using sunbeds and residents who don’t use sunbeds are urged to:
· Spend time in the shade between 11am-3pm
· Make sure you never burn
· Aim to cover up with a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses
· Remember to take extra care with children
· Then use factor 15+ sunscreen
Cllr Jackie Smith, the Royal Borough’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment said: “This investigation has highlighted a serious lack of adherence to health and safety guidelines and the royal borough will support business owners to ensure they know about the recommended safety levels.”
Cllr Denise Scott-Mcdonald, Royal Greenwich Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Public Health, added: “Sunbeds can sometimes be marketed as a ‘controlled way’ of getting a ‘safer tan’. But actually, sunbeds are no safer than exposure to the sun itself, and the amount of UV people receive varies enormously too."
"Research states that sunbeds provide no positive health benefits. And using a sunbed before you go on holiday doesn’t protect against further damage from the sun while you’re away. Using a sun bed once or more a month could increase the chances of developing skin cancer by more than 50%. It may seem like a safe way to tan but there are lots of dangers around it.”
For more information on sunbeds and the development skin cancer, please visit the Cancer Research UK website at: www.cancerresearchuk.org.