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Volume 711: debated on Monday 1 June 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to introducing legislation to prevent persons under the age of 18 from gaining access to coin-operated sun-beds. [HL3799]

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the health benefits of sun-beds relative to the health risks. [HL3800]

The Government advise against the cosmetic use of sunbeds, including coin-operated sunbeds, particularly by minors. The Cancer Reform Strategy commits the Government to reviewing the options for possible regulation of the sunbed industry, but no final decisions have yet been taken.

The assessment of any perceived health benefits of cosmetic sunbed exposure, relative to health risks, is a matter about which individuals make their own choices. To help ensure that these choices are informed, the United Kingdom health departments fund the annual Sunsmart campaign which is the national skin cancer prevention campaign. It provides evidence-based information about skin cancer and in 2009 will raise awareness of the dangers of sunbeds. In addition the Department of Health in England has worked with the Health and Safety Executive which has recently issued revised guidance for sunbed operators and users. Some time ago the UK health departments also asked the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation and the Environment (COMARE) to set up a sub-committee on sunbeds. It is expected to report shortly.