Did you know that Ultra Violet Radiation (UVR) in a sunbed can be five times stronger than the midday sun during a hot Queensland summer?
Skin cancer and sun beds
Commercial tanning operators will be offered a financial incentive to hand over their UV sun beds sooner than the deadline announced by the state government.
In a media statement Health Minister Lawrence Springborg told Parliament the earlier businesses surrender their registered commercial skin tanning units, the more compensation they will be entitled to.
UVR damages skin cells and can lead to the development of skin cancer – no matter what type of skin you have. It can also lead to premature ageing of the skin and eye damage.
As a result “UV tanning beds will be completely banned in Queensland from 31 December 2014, but ultimately we would like to see the machines disappear as soon as possible,” Mr Springborg said.
Research shows sunbed users have a 20 per cent higher risk of developing skin cancer, but this jumps to 59 per cent if a sunbed is used before the age of 35.
“To facilitate this, we will provide an incentive package for affected operators based on when they surrender their solaria.”
Businesses will receive the following:
- $5,000 for each registered skin tanning unit surrendered before 1 April 2014
- $2,500 for each registered skin tanning unit surrendered between 1 April 2014 and 30 June 2014
- $1,000 for each registered skin tanning unit surrendered between 1 July 2014 and 31 December 2014
Mr Springborg said the incentive package is only available to businesses that hand over their registered commercial skin tanning units before 31 December 2014, or the expiry of their license, if it occurs first.
As the Radiation Safety Act 1999 forbade the sale or possession of previously-licenced tanning beds, licence holders would need to contact Queensland Health to arrange for the disposal of their machines.
“Queensland is known as the skin cancer capital of the world and I make no apologies for doing all we can to reduce the risk of this terrible disease,” he said.
“Responsible governments make the right decisions like this, to benefit people both now and into the future.
“The use of skin tanning units is associated with a significant increase in the risk of melanoma which increases if a person first uses a unit before the age of 35.
“All of the machines collected by the department will be destroyed and disposed of.”