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Thursday, 17 December 2009

BMA Cymru support Julie Morgan MP's private members bill

Julie Morgan, MP for Cardiff North has put down a private members bill which would ban under 18’s from using sunbeds, and ensure all sunbed use in England and Wales would be supervised.

BMA Cymru are delighted that Julie has chosen to use her bill to close a loophole in law to protect the public – particularly young people – from the dangers of sunbeds and from over-exposure to intense UV radiation.

This is something we have campaigned heavily on this year in Wales - calling for tighter regulation of the commercial sunbed industry; particularly for a ban on coin-operated / unsupervised salons and a ban on the use by under 18s.

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” - the highest risk category.

Just one session a month on a sunbed doubles the average individual's annual dose of UV radiation and this is proven to greatly increase the risk of cancer, skin and eye problems in later life.

For us the essential point is that there is no such thing as a safe tan (unless it comes out of a bottle). The damage to your skin remains long after a tan has faded.

There are no formal guidelines about standards of private sector tanning salons, the ones which do exist are only advisory and providers are free to ignore them. Anyone can decide to set up a tanning salon, and they need no training or qualifications.

In 2009, there is no excuse for such lax regulation. When we gave evidence to the National Assembly for Wale’s Health Committee inquiry a few months ago that is exactly what we said – we are delighted that the Committee took our recommendations forward, and now we are even more delighted that Julie Morgan MPs Private Members Bill could close this gap in public protection on a UK level for good. We will do everything we can to support her.

The bill has it’s second reading on 29 January 2010 – we will be watching closely.

Tell us what you think of this private members bill.

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