HPA Advises On Sunbed Use

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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SUNBEDS should be off limits to the under 18s and never be used for cosmetic tanning - say scientists at the Health Protection Agency.

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The HPA has today repeated its advice as the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified sunbeds as carcinogens. Previously IARC had classed sunbeds as 'probably carcinogenic to humans'.

The HPA advice is: "Sunbeds emit UVR. Sunbeds cause tanning and can cause sunburn. There is no evidence to suggest any type of sunbed is less harmful than natural sun exposure. The HPA discourages the use of sunbeds for cosmetic tanning. Sunbeds should never be used by anyone under 18 years of age. If you are over 18 years of age and wish to use a sunbed then use a facility that provides guidance to users. Limit your use of the sunbed - don't have repeated sessions to build up a quick tan before a summer holiday."

Dr Jill Meara, Deputy Director in the Radiation Protection Division at HPA said "The advice from IARC is based on a review of recently published scientific evidence, in particular studies on people who first used sunbeds when they were young. There is clear evidence of a skin cancer risk"

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