Call for National Ban to Cut Cancer Rates
8 January 2015 at 8:42 am
Australians are avoiding a ban on using commercial solariums by purchasing their own private machines, according to the Cancer Council.
As of January 1 this year commercial solariums are now officially banned in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales, after almost a decade of public campaigning.
While all five states introduced bans to operate commercial solariums on the same date, Western Australia has also committed to banning the tanning beds but no date has been set.
There are no commercial solariums operating in the Northern Territory.
The Cancer Council Queensland welcomed the ban while pushing for another major step.
“The ban is a major achievement that will protect Queenslanders from unsafe exposure to the harmful effects of ultra-violet radiation from tanning beds,” Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said.
“It has been estimated that each year in Australia, 281 new melanoma cases, 43 melanoma-related deaths, and 2,572 new cases of squamous cell carcinoma are attributable to solarium use, at a cost to the health system of around $3 million.
“Solarium use can be lethal, and every user of a sun bed places themselves at increased risk of an early death from preventable skin cancer.”
Clift said the organisation also wanted to see a ban on the sale of solariums for private possession and use in Queensland, with some tanning beds being made available for purchase online.
Solariums can be found on eBay for around $6000.
“A ban on the sale of solariums for private possession and use is necessary to further save Queensland lives,” Clift said.
“Reports of people buying tanning beds for personal, unregulated use is a serious concern.
“Queenslanders may be using solariums in their own home without supervision, increasing their personal risk of skin cancer.
“There is no such thing as a safe way to use solariums – unprotected exposure to UV radiation is extremely dangerous, particularly for young people.
“Research shows using a solarium before the age of 35 increases a person’s risk of developing a melanoma by 59 per cent.
“In the interest of public health and saving Queensland lives, we need a ban on private possession and use to be urgently considered by the State Government.”