Sunbed silliness

I will admit to being slightly biased on this one, having heard many, many years ago about the entirely legitimate concerns about the cancer risks through UV exposure associated with their use.

And it’s become a rather heated (haha) issue here in New Zealand, particularly as it’s now been confirmed that sunbeds are, well, synonymous with cancer causation. The IARC is behind the research and they tend to know what they’re talking about (in fact, they’re the WHO’s agency committed to looking into human cancer).

Some countries have legislated around this, either by banning their use altogether, or by requiring that it is confined to adult use. In other cases, they allow teenagers to use them, but only if there has been adult consent.

But in New Zealand, none of this is the case. The sunbed industry here operates under a voluntary code (generally code for ‘pays lip service to’), which precludes people under 18 using the service. In addition, a spokesperson has said that people are aware of the risks, but choose to use the treatments anyway.

Now, however, an article on Stuff has shown that this isn’t the case at all. The investigation carried out as part of the article showed that most of the sunbed operators looked into showed no signs of abiding by the voluntary code: they allowed underage clients to use them, and in many cases did not tell people about the associated health risks or even warn them to use the goggles provided.

Not OK, guys, not OK at all. After all, having your clients die is generally accepted, even in our gung-ho world, as bad (or at least unsustainable) business practice.