Solariums and Fake Tans
New laws introduced in the ACT- effective 17th November 2010
The new laws apply to the operation of solariums in the ACT. All tanning units will be required to be registered by the ACT Radiation Council. Owners and operators of the tanning unit will also be required to hold a Radiation License.
Cancer Council ACT continues to advocate for an outright ban of solaiums in the ACT.
Under the new ACT laws operators of tanning units must:
- Not permit persons under 18 years of age using their solarium;
- Not permit persons with a pale white skin type (1) from using their solarium;
- Not permit the use of tanning units by an untrained operator;
- Not permit the reuse of a tanning unit within 48 hours;
- Ensure that no more than one person is exposed to UV from a single unit at any one time;
- Complete a 'Fitzpatrick' skin assessment of every customer;
- Ensure that ALL staff are appropriately trained in using equipment; assessing skin types and determining exposure times;
- Provide a consent form outlining the risks of tanning unit use for clients to read and sign at each visit;
- Ensure protective eyewear is always worn;
- Keep a copy of the Regulation Standard AS/NZS 2635 (2008)
- Not claim health benefits and safety from risk of using a tanning unit; and
- Display appropriate warning signs.
For more information on the new ACT Solarium Regulations please visit the ACT Health website.
AS/NZS 2635:2008 Solaria for for cosmetic purposes.
The updated National Standard for Solaria for cosmetic purposes will for the first time advise restricting the use of sunbeds (solariums) to people over 18 years old (and not have fair Type 1 skin) and require all operators to warn clients that radiation emitted from tanning units contributes to cancer.
Solariums are not safe
Contrary to what some people believe, solariums are not ‘safe tanning’ devices. Research has shown that they increase your risk of developing skin cancer including melanoma. A recent study by The International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that using solarium regularly before the age of 30 boosted ones risk of developing melanoma by 75% and also increased the risk of squamous cell carcinoma. An even more recent study suggested that the increased risk of melanoma could be as much as 98%.
In a Yellow Pages audit into the increase in solariums in urban Australia (1992- 2006) by the Cancer Council, Canberra was recorded at having a 425% increase in solarium operators since 1996. This did not include gyms and beauty parlors. The only other major cities to exceed this increase was Melbourne (576%) and Perth (1000%).
A recent Cancer Council follow up audit (2009) found that the number of solariums across Australian capital cities has declined by 32% over the past three years, with franchising taking the biggest hit. (View media release below Oct 2009). However an increase was recorded in the ACT.
Currently there is no commonwealth level regulation of the solarium industry in Australia, only a voluntary code of conduct developed by Standards Australia- AS/NZS 2635:2008. To date most state and territory governments have regulated this dangerous industry in their jurisdictions.
For information on the current standard visit Standards Australia.
WHO- International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
In July of 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) which reviews cancer risk for the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed what many Australians have long suspected: tanning devices are dangerous and can cause cancer. The IARC moved ultraviolet radiation emitting tanning beds into the top-risk category and has labeled them as "carcinogenic to humans" after ruling they are more dangerous than previously suggested .
For more information on the dangers of solariums read our Information Sheet Solariums and Tanning or download Cancer Council Australia's Position Statement on Solariums.
The Clare Oliver Melanoma Fund
Anti -solarium campaigner Clare Oliver who died (13 September 2007) at the age of 26 from melanoma, recorded an emotional TV advertisement to remind teens of the real dangers of using solariums.
Visit The Clare Oliver Melanoma Fund.
Cancer Council does not promote the perception that tanned skin is more desirable than pale skin. Read more in Cancer Council Australia's Position Statements on fake tans. If people do opt for a fake tan it is important that they understand that a fake tan does not offer any sun protection and a combination of the 5 national sun protection measures are still applicable.