Sunbeds (Regulation) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:27 pm on 29th January 2010.

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Photo of Sarah Teather Sarah Teather Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government) (Housing and Planning) 1:27 pm, 29th January 2010

I shall be brief, as I do not wish to detain the House. I congratulate Julie Morgan on securing second place in the ballot and using it for such a good cause. My colleagues and I support the Bill. Indeed, my hon. Friend Norman Lamb has spoken about this issue on many occasions, and the hon. Lady will know that he is very supportive of the Bill.

My hon. Friend Susan Kramer, who is no longer in her place, asked me to tell the House about her husband, John, who died about three years ago of melanoma. He was told by his doctors that it was a result of sunburn suffered as a child. He had not used sunbeds, but his example highlights the fact that skin damage as a child can cause damage 30 or 40 years later. Philip Davies spoke about freedom of choice, but it is very difficult to make an informed decision on this issue, especially as a child. The information provided about the level of ultraviolet light is often incorrect, and Mark Simmonds spoke about the variability of the amount of UV light provided by various sunbeds. It is difficult even for an adult to make an informed choice, so it is impossible for a child or a teenager to make one about the damage that they might do to themselves 10, 15, 20, 30 or 40 years later. As my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond Park said to me, she was told by John's doctor that when a melanoma metastasizes, that person's chances of survival are extremely low. Melanoma is a difficult cancer to treat if it has metastasized. It might be easier to treat if it is picked up early, but it is difficult to treat if it spreads.

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