Solariums in the spotlight again

Over recent years, the non-therapeutic use of solariums has become increasingly controversial around the world, and in some instances has sparked strong reactions from their proponents within the tanning industry in particular. One such controversy is happening in the United States at the moment, with the pro-solarium organisation American Suntanning Association ready to take the next step of launching a lobbying campaign which will refute claims of increased melanoma and other skin cancers as a result of using sunbeds.

As readers may already know, I am posting from my home of Queensland in Australia – a state know as the ‘skin cancer capital of the world’. The solarium-debate has touched us also in recent years, with a number of high profile sunbed-related melanoma deaths being covered in the national media. As a result of this media and lobbying efforts of cancer victims,  Australian states including Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria have introduced a solarium-ban from the end of 2014, with no repairs to broken equipment in the interim.

Over coming months the Western Australian government is taking the interesting step of introducing solar UV meters into schools so that teachers can help regulate the amount of UV exposure that children receive each day. Amazingly enough these overseas-made meters have to be recalibrated for the UV exposure levels in WA, with existing maximum readings of 11 needing to exceed 15.

Current US controversy:

Recent Queenland response to solarium use:

Western Australia solar UV meters:

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