New legislation to regulate the use of sunbeds, which is to be introduced by Minister James Reilly shortly, is expected to make it illegal to allow young people under 18 use sunbeds.
The HSE’s Environmental Health Officers will be responsible for enforcing the legislation which is designed to both protect young people and promote a more choice amongst adults in relation to the use of sunbeds.
Maurice Mulcahy, HSE Principal Environmental Health Officer, said the legislation is intended to protect the public, and particularly children and young adults, from the risk of skin damage, skin cancer and other health risks including premature ageing and eye damage, which can all be caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation and sunbed use.
When the legislation is commenced in the coming weeks, there will be accessible online information for members of the public.
A dedicated web page will provide information about the new laws as they come on stream over the coming months, and also provide details of how the public may lodge a complaint with the HSE Environment Health Service in relation to children under 18 being permitted to use sunbeds.
Dr Marie Laffoy, Consultant in Public Health Medicine with the HSE National Cancer Control Programme commented that ‘skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in Ireland. Currently over 8,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, almost double the number of cases compared to 20 years ago. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Taking simple precautions can help to prevent skin cancer and the most important thing is not to get sun burnt and not to use sunbeds.