There is nothing new about the Consumer Survey on Sunbeds published this month. Once again they point out that compliance by operators is not up to standard. In fact I would agree, more's the pity, especially with only 68% of operators using skin analysis and consent forms, this should be at 100% it's sooo easy.
It's interesting to note Consumer don't say how much improved the industry is on complying with the standards since they started their surveys nor how the industry has shrunk drastically over this time.
At least this year Consumer didn't go into those misleading arguments they usually use about how bad sunbeds are and quoting World Health Organisation (WHO) report stating sunbed use increases melanoma risk. This report has been repeatedly refuted and recently an expert review* concluded that the WHO report is based on incomplete, unbalanced, and non critical evaluation of the literature. It states the report fails to establish a cause-effect relationship between sunbed use and cancer. Moreover the report deliberately conceals the beneficial effects of UV and sunbed exposure, which includes longer life expectancy, decreased occurrence of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and protection against several cancer types.
Well done all those operators who turned away underage &/or fair skin mystery shoppers - that's fabulous operating in compliance with the voluntary solarium standards.
We are concerned that Consumer state they want sunbeds banned as in Australia. To use a sunbed in Australia you can use a home sunbed (where there are no restrictions) or go to the black market which is now rife (also no restrictions). We think the best way to ensure consumer safety is to implement and enforce mandatory standards.
It's been more than two years since the Ministry of Health (MOH) consulted on the possibility of legislation for sunbeds. We have heard nothing from them since, not a peep. Perhaps this is a good thing as they proposed some excessive fees on operators that would certainly see the demise of the now tiny industry in this country. Meanwhile we continue to provide adults in this country with a choice; long may choice continue.