Published 13.11.2009 , updated: 09.09.2010, 13:39
The Finnish, Swedish, Icelandic and Norwegian Radiation Safety Authorities recommend prohibition of use of sunbeds for people under the age of 18 years.
The Nordic Radiation Safety Authorities advice against the use of sun beds for people under the age of 18 and people with light skin. In a new joint recommendation the four authorities in Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Norway now propose an age limit of 18 years for the use of sun beds.
Ultraviolet radiation significantly increases the risk of developing skin cancer. Children and adolescents are the most sensitive. Those who burned themselves at an early age run a larger risk of developing malignant melanoma later in life. Malignant melanoma is considered to be the most serious form of skin-cancer.
A basic and internationally accepted principle for radiation protection is that any practice involving radiation must be justifiable, i.e. do more good than harm. The World Health Organisation based International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO-IARC) has now classified UV-emitting tanning devices as “carcinogenic to humans”. This fact raises serious questions on the justification behind using sunbeds for tanning purposes.
The authorities therefore recommend regulation of tanning facilities open to the public that includes the prohibition of use, sale or hire of sunbeds for people below 18 years of age. Such regulations have already been implemented in several countries in Europe.