28 May 2013

Recommendation regarding sunbeds

Recommendation of The Nordic Cancer Union regarding prohibition of sunbed/solarium services to people under the age of 18 years.

The Nordic Cancer Union consist of  the Finnish, Swedish, Icelandic, Danish, Norwegian and Faroese Cancer Societies, at this is a recommendation on behalf of all members.

The Nordic Cancer Union recommends that all the Nordic Countries follow the example of Norway, Finland and Iceland to prohibit sunbed use, sale or hire for people under 18 years.

Exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), including solarium use, can cause severe negative health effects. The Nordic authorities therefore advise against the use of sunbeds for tanning purposes since exposure of the general population to UV-radiation should be limited (Nordic Radiation Protection and Health Authorities, 2005).

A basic and internationally accepted principle for radiation protection is that any practice involving radiation must be justifiable, i.e. do more good than harm. The World Health Organisation based International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO-IARC) has classified UV-emitting tanning devices as “carcinogenic to humans” (IARC-News, 2009). This fact raises serious consernon the justification behind using sunbeds for tanning purposes.

Young persons below 18 years of age and UV sensitive people (skin type I – II) are strongly advised not to use sunbeds (Scientific Committee for Consumer Products, 2006; Nordic Radiation Protection and Health Authorities, 2005). There is a significant increased risk for developing cutaneous malignant melanoma associated with using sunbeds, particularly for those who start using sunbeds in their teens and twenties (IARC, 2006).

Therefore the Nordic Cancer Union recommends regulation of tanning facilities open to the public that includes the prohibition of use, sale or hire of sunbeds for people below 18 years of age.

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