Sunbeds (Regulation) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:34 am on 29th January 2010.

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Photo of Julie Morgan Julie Morgan Labour, Cardiff North 11:34 am, 29th January 2010

Yes, there are many examples of young people who become addicted and feel that they cannot manage unless they go to a salon continually. They might think of going once a month, but they end up going once-and sometimes more than once-a week. We know that such activity is extremely dangerous because of its long-term consequences, so I thank my right hon. Friend for that intervention.

COMARE also emphasises that sunbeds are not a safe way of obtaining vitamin D

"due to the potential carcinogenicity and the high frequency of acute side-effects."

By using them, people risk becoming sunburnt and damaging their skin. In south Wales, we had a very troubling example of a young woman aged 14 who went expressly against her parents' wishes to an unstaffed sunbed salon and suffered 70 per cent. burns. That was absolutely horrific, and through this legislation we want to try to prevent such incidents from occurring.

The UK's national skin cancer prevention campaign, SunSmart, says that

"the amount of sun needed to make enough vitamin D is always less than the amounts that cause tanning."

We do not need a sunbed to get our vitamins. Any assumption that we do is mistaken. I am concerned, because young people believe that they are doing no more damage to their skin on a sunbed than they are if they step out their house on a sunny day, but we know that sunbeds are much more dangerous.

The Secretary of State for Health and the Welsh Assembly Health Minister, Edwina Hart AM, are committed to introducing regulations if the Bill is passed. I am very pleased that it covers England and Wales, and that we have such strong support from the two Governments and, in particular, those Ministers.

Several colleagues have raised questions about the impact of the legislation on small businesses during the recession.

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