Cancer Research Concern at Sunbed Use

Cancer Research charity officials are growing increasingly concerned that under age girls are still determined to use sunbeds, no matter the consequences. New studies report that many girls under 18 are still regularly using sunbeds, even though they are actually breaking the law.

The study found that many 15-18 year old girls are still willing to risk their health, even though they know the risks of using a sunbed. Many think that a tan not only makes them feel confident, but also that they feel healthier with a glow.

Sundbeds were made illegal for under 18’s in 2011, a year after a Cancer Research study showed more than 250,000 children aged between 11 and 17 in England were regularly using sunbeds. Tanning salons are now required to ask for identification from people when booking a course, but not all staff are stringent in their supervision.

Head of the study, Dr Jeffrey Lake, said –

The research shows us that the desire for tanned skin in young people is blinding them to the potential long-term health risks associated with regularly using sunbeds. We’re finding that their worries are cosmetic when they should really be thinking about the unseen damage they’re inflicting on themselves.

This report comes just a week before Cancer Research relaunch their ‘R UV UGLY?’ campaign, which will see people offered free scans at skin clinics around the country. These will be able to show people the hidden damage beneath the skin’s surface through overexposure to UV sunbeams, and of course the sun; the biggest sunbed in the world!

Co-author of the study, Catherine Thomson, said –

It’s worrying to see that, in some areas of the UK, half of all 15-17 year old girls are using sunbeds on a regular basis. Introducing the legislation banning sunbed use by under 18s was vital to protect younger people from the harmful effects of UV. But proper supervision in salons is essential to combat the determination of teenagers to get round laws that are there for their own protection.

Let’s hope that many people make use of the free skin clinic scans to see how much they may have been affected by UV damage. Tanning salons need to clamp down on under age usage, as a young person’s skin should be not be hammered with UV from an early age. Full ID should be shown and scanned into the system to prove the age of the person booking the course to ensure that nobody is breaking the law. These preventions were put into place for a reason.