Should sunbeds be banned in NZ?

13:00 Wed Feb 8 2012

Calls are being made for New Zealand to have stronger regulations in the solarium industry after the announcement that New South Wales will ban sunbeds by the end of 2014.

The Australian state is the second place in the world to ban sunbeds.

But Dr Amanda Oakley, president of the NZ Dermatological Society, told TV ONE's Breakfast she does not think New Zealand is at this stage just yet.

She said she would prefer regulation of sunbeds rather than banning them.

"We're going to be very interested to see what happens in NSW and whether they manage to progress that, and banning would be great.

"But the first thing is at least to have regulations in this country. The regulations are present in Europe and the US. But here anything goes."

In a survey of 66 sunbed operators, Consumer New Zealand found many are failing to comply with voluntary standards.

Only 11 operators passed the voluntary standards, an improvement of four since last year's survey.

So you think sunbeds should be regulated, or banned? Have your say.

User comments
Don't ban them its a persons choice if they use one but sunbed rules need to be in forced. Where I go they keep track of your times ect so you can't go too long or too frequently
Yet again we see the government trying to tell you what you can and can't do in your life, ban this, ban that, maybe if we all dressed like penguins and walked single file they might be happy. Welcome to the ever increasing fascist state of NZ
Sunbeds are also used for skin conditions where UV light is helpful, and can be measured. Not everyone has the time, nor the skill to judge how much they will receive on any given day and it's weather conditions. Furthermore, the condition that requires the sun, often prevents the person from seeking it - whether it be physical restraints or embarassment. For health reasons, a TAN is NOT the goal! By all means regulate operators to ensure safety, but don't take away a person's right to dignity.
I have heard that sun bedding responsibly can actually be a good thing in terms of exposure to UV rays. The sunbed is a controlled environment and the user is evaluated before beginning so that they are only in there for the amount of time suitable for their skin type. Those who sun tan outside are at a much greater risk of burning, damaging their skin, premature skin aging, and cancer because they have no way of controlling the sun. If you sunbed and follow a rigorous sun protection regime when you are outside, you have a lesser chance of these ailments then someone who is an outdoors tanner. I personally have psoriasis and find sun bedding helps with the problem. Since sunbedding, I have not once been burned (previously I would attempt to sunbathe and just end up burnt and uneven), I feel and look much healthier, and I am more proactive with suncare when I am outdoors.
If you want to ban sun beds, dont forget to ban the sun as well !!
One of the local salons here has a sign that they put out daily that says "Sunbeds - build your tan safely". As far as I know there is nothing at all safe about sunbeds. Are they allowed to say this? Or are they misleading their customers?

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