Sun sets on solarium use in Queensland

Commercial solariums are now completely banned in Queensland, a move the Cancer Council says will save countless lives in the future of the Sunshine State.

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift commended the Health Minister for his leadership to save Queensland lives from skin cancer.

“The ban is a major achievement that will protect Queenslanders from unsafe exposure to the harmful effects of ultra-violet radiation from tanning beds,” Ms Clift said.

“It has been estimated that each year in Australia, 281 new melanoma cases, 43 melanoma-related deaths, and 2,572 new cases of squamous cell carcinoma are attributable to solarium use, at a cost to the health system of around $3 million.

“Solarium use can be lethal, and every user of a sun bed places themselves at increased risk of an early death from preventable skin cancer.

“Exposure to UV radiation is not safe – this ban sends a strong message to Queenslanders that tanning is dangerous, and can cut your life short.

“This ban also communicates the very real risk associated with tanning, and we hope to see more young Queenslanders becoming more sun smart as a result.”

Cancer Council Queensland would also like to see a ban on the sale of solariums for private possession and use in Queensland, with some tanning beds being made available for purchase online.

“A ban on the sale of solariums for private possession and use is necessary to further save Queensland lives,” Ms Clift said.

“Reports of people buying tanning beds for personal, unregulated use is a serious concern.

“Queenslanders may be using solariums in their own home without supervision, increasing their personal risk of skin cancer.

“There is no such thing as a safe way to use solariums – unprotected exposure to UV radiation is extremely dangerous, particularly for young people.

“Research shows using a solarium before the age of 35 increases a person’s risk of developing a melanoma by 59 per cent.

“In the interest of public health and saving Queensland lives, we need a ban on private possession and use to be urgently considered by the State Government.”

Around 136,000 cases of skin cancer are diagnosed every year in Queensland – 3000 melanoma and 133,000 non-melanoma skin cancers.

The ban took effect on December 31, 2014, coinciding with the introduction of commercial bans in South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland and the risks of tanning is available via Cancer Council Helpline 13 11 20 or on our website.

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Katie Clift, Executive Manager, Media and Spokesperson, Cancer Council Queensland

Ph: (07) 3634 5372 or 0409 001 171