The ACT Government will ban commercial solariums in the Territory by the end of next year to help lower the incidence of skin cancer among Canberrans, Chief Minister and Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher, announced today.
"There is strong evidence that solariums or tanning beds can increase a person's chance of getting skin cancers and it is time that commercial solariums are banned in the ACT to protect the health of Canberrans and particularly young people," the Chief Minister said.
"The NSW, Victorian and South Australian governments have already announced bans on commercial solaria, and the QLD Government has imposed restrictions on new units. The ACT Government is working with other jurisdictions to achieve a consistent national ban on commercial solariums."
Continued research into the negative health effects of tanning bed use has prompted the World Health Organization to classify tanning beds as a group 1 carcinogen, alongside tobacco smoking and asbestos.
Research published in the British Medical Journal in July 2012 concluded that the risk of cutaneous melanoma is increased by 20% for those who have ever used indoor tanning devices with artificial ultraviolet light and the risk of melanoma was doubled when use started before the age of 35 years.
Commercial solariums in the ACT have been regulated since November 2010 when restrictions were placed on who could use tanning beds. Tanning bed operators are also required to hold a licence and be trained appropriately.
The Chief Minister said that the commercial solarium ban would be managed over time and consultation with operators on implementation aspects of the ban had started.
"The Government is conscious of the impact this ban will have on some businesses and that is why the ban will not start until December 31, 2014," the Chief Minister said.
"This timeframe will allow solarium owners to diversify their businesses and to dispose of their current solaria units appropriately.
"The Health Protection Service will continue to monitor solarium businesses until the ban commences to ensure that current requirements are being met," the Chief Minister said.
- Statement ends -
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