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Friday, 2 October 2009

Campaign Success – Every Welsh Council Leisure Centre soon to be Sunbed Free

We are absolutely delighted that after our recent sunbeds campaign, the three remaining local authorities in Wales (Vale of Glamorgan, Flintshire and Wrexham) who continued to operate and profit from sunbeds are on the road to removing them.

That means by April next year, no local authority owned leisure centre will operate sunbeds.

Our campaign exposed the shocking profits the three Councils were making from sunbeds – a combined profit of around £46,000 annually.

After our success in securing a commitment from the Vale of Glamorgan to remove the five sunbeds it operated across the county we pledged to take the campaign to North Wales – to Wrexham and Flintshire – who were the only ones left operating sunbeds.

The fact that the Vale has already bowed to pressure and removed its sunbeds and Wrexham Council have agreed to remove the ones it operates by April next year, is a great result for local public health. Next week, Flintshire Council’s Executive is to consider the issue and is expected to announce the removal of all sunbeds before the end of the year – determined not to be the last authority in Wales to do so.

The link between exposure to UV radiation and skin cancer is now indisputable – shown by the recent decision by the International Agency for Research on Cancer to raise the sunbed classification to “carcinogenic to humans” and the fact that the sunbed industry is largely unregulated in the UK.

The removal of all sunbeds operated by local authorities sends a clear message to the public on the dangers of sunbed use.

We’ll continue fighting for tighter regulation of the Commercial sunbed industry – especially for a ban on coin-operated / unsupervised salons and use by under 18s, a move we understand the Assembly's Health Minister has asked her officials to look into.

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