Australia's most populous state bans tanning beds

Tanning beds to go

Something happened in the last few days that makes us at the Health Safari pretty happy: NSW’s Environment Minister Robyn Parker announced that solariums (or sunbeds or tanning beds or whatever you want to call them) are going to disappear from New South Wales – Australia’s most populous state -  from New Years’ Eve, 2014.

Tanning beds are a funny thing. They’re used to give people a healthy shade one associates with being outdoors. Yet, the appearance of health is dreadfully dangerous in this case – tanning beds have long been strongly and credibly associated with an increased risk of skin cancer.

The risk is significant enough that when we designed SkinKeeper for iPhone, we actually let people capture tanning use as a general risk factor that would be made visible to the doctor reading a user’s  mole report.

NSW is ahead of the game here, and is among a relatively few number of governments that have taken action on the issue. Brazil banned tanning beds in 2009, and California has progressively been increasing their age restriction over the years to the point that you need to be 18 to have a “sun cigarette”.

Will the rest of Australia follow NSW? Maybe, but letting your state government know that you support their actions will certainly help things along.

You can read about the science that shows pretty conclusively that tanning beds cause skin cancer, or source the original study from the Lancet Oncology, Volume 10, Issue 8, Pp 751 - 752,  August 2009.

In the meantime, a word to the solarium owners: people are still going to want tans, and because this is a general ban, all solarium operators are on an equal footing here. Spray tans, bronzing creams, and diversification of services (as many already have done) into other health and beauty domains should become part of the business plan and marketing strategy, if they’re not already.

The ban is still two years away, so now is the moment where you guys can embrace it early and shut down the machines today. Tell your customers why you’re doing it – for their own clinical safety. Become the stores that customers remember as being the ones that cared about them, so that after  dust settles, they’re more loyal than ever.

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20:36, 25 July 2012 | Author : Voila

@mannish I assume you are a troll, but just have to point out that TANNING BEDS CAUSE CANCER. No-one should be using them. And the tanning salons themselves should really think about whether they should continue to provide a service that could kill people. As the article points out, the evidence is non-controversial and conclusive.

12:11, 25 July 2012 | Author : Manish

ABSOLUTELY, I use tanning saonls all the time, I have the membership package and everything! When you get a base tan at a salon, when tanning outside you will see much more rapid results. Tanning indoors does about the same amout of damage from tanning outside, inside you tan for 10-15 mins on a much higher source of UV rays and outside you tan for 3-6 hours on a lower source. And for those who work too much to find time to go to the beach, indoor tanning shows great results and is so fast 10-15, MAX 20. GO TANNING you'll feel great, indoor tanning also emits the Vitamin D found in the UV rays of the sun!!

18:01, 13 May 2012 | Author : FreeFallin

Congratulations on getting married! Hey, don't know what you're doing on your honeymoon, but you should probably try to NOT get eaten by lions