Clare T.D. and Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Pat Breen has welcomed the ban on sunbed use for anyone under the Age of 18 which came in to effect today Monday, 21st July 2014.
“The ban on use of sunbeds for persons under the age of 18 is a very welcome development particularly given the overwhelming international evidence linking the increased incidents of skin cancer with the use of sunbeds especially in younger people.
The Irish Cancer Society report that around 140,000 people regularly use sun beds and the most worrying statistic is that 20% of these are aged between 15 and 34 years of age. This ban puts an end to the practice of young girls being exposed to these dangerous ultra violet rays ahead of birthdays, debs, First Holy Communions and other occasions and it will make a significant contribution in reducing the risks of skin cancer.
As well as banning the use of sunbeds for children under 18 years of age, I would also like to see a focussed educational programme introduced in our Schools in tandem with a media campaign blitz on radio, television and on social media to highlight the devastating effects that using a sun bed can have on young people’s lives. Making people aware of the risks will have an impact just as similar campaigns have impacted on smokers and on drink drivers.
The incidents of Skin Cancer Cases in this Country has now reached over 10,000 annually for the first time and a worrying statistic from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland is that there were 569 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer in those aged 15-44 in 2011 compared to 2005, a 39 per cent increase.
The risk of developing skin cancer is increased with sun bed usage and scientists having calculated that a ten minute session on a sunbed is twice as likely to cause skin cancer as spending the same time in the midday sun in the Mediterranean.
It is really important that we take every possible measure in the battle against skin cancer. This sunbed ban for young people is about protecting our young people’s lives and it is important step in this battle.”