U-18s tan ban backed

YOUNGSTERS will be prevented from using sunbeds under new regulations backed by a local skin expert and readers.

From April 8 tanning salons must adhere to rules which include preventing those under-18 from using sunbeds, providing as well as displaying health information about associated risks, ensuring protective eyewear is available and “as far as is reasonably practicable” worn.

This week the move has been welcomed by Graham Colver, consultant dermatologist at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, where 1,000 skin cancers – caused by many different factors – are treated a year.

He said: “A crucial part of the message, which has become introvertible in the last ten years, is that young people’s exposure to sunlight does give you a lifetime increased risk of skin cancer.

“The young skin seems to be more susceptible to the damage caused – so really (these new rules) are protecting people for their own good, from something which might not happen until later.”

Chesterfield Borough Council is working with operators to make sure they are aware of the regulations. A county-wide campaign with councils and Derbyshire PCT is raising awareness of sunbed risks and imminent legislation – which can result in fines of up to £20,000.

Debate has also been sparked on the Derbyshire Times’ Facebook fan page.

Sarah Glover said: “I’m really in support of this; my dad passed away last April from skin cancer and it was an awful illness that started on his skin and then ravaged his whole body killing him in 18 months at the age of 67. Please think before you use sunbeds.”

Christopher Spencer added: “They should be used for medical conditions and not for vanity.”

For more details on the rules call Catherine Johnson, senior council environmental health officer, on 01246 345749.

What do you think? Email comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk.