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article imageNSW bans commercial ultraviolet solarium tanning units

By Katerina Nikolas     Feb 20, 2012 in Health
Opting for a suntan from a solarium is not a safe option according to researchers who now classify solariums as carcinogenic to humans. New South Wales will be the first Australian state to ban all commercial solariums from the end of 2014.
A ban on commercial ultraviolet solarium tanning units will come into effect in Australia's New South Wales on 31 December 2014. The ban could pave the way for tanning units to be outlawed throughout Australia as research has shown that tanning beds are not a safe way to tan. Exposure to UV radiation is no less harmful when it comes from artificial methods.
With its sunny climate Australia has the highest rates of melanoma in the world and has concentrated on educating Australian citizens on safe practices in the sun and the dangers of sun exposure. However, as sun worshippers absorb the message and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun's natural rays, tanning beds have become a popular alternative for those seeking a bronzed appearance.
According to Sunbedban the "risk of melanoma is heightened particularly for solarium users younger than 35 years old" and "Solariums are now classified as carcinogenic to humans and have been scientifically-proven to increase the early onset of melanoma."
Naharnet quotes Ian Olver from the Cancer Council of Australia who said "There is no reason for sunbeds to exist. Tanning is a fashion, it's not healthy." It cites research figures showing the risk of melanoma is increased by 41 percent when those aged between 18 - 39 use tanning beds.
The message reported by Choice, an Australian watchdog, is even more dramatic. It says the International Agency for Research on Cancer places solariums in the same high risk category as "asbestos, formaldehyde and plutonium." Whilst Choice welcomes the NSW ban, it is disappointed there is a three year delay in implementing the ban, saying "The period of time allowed for the transition will mean more people may be adversely affected by tanning beds.”
More about Melanoma, Skin cancer, commercial sunbeds, commercial solariums, New South Wales
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