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05th Aug 2022

Sunbeds can emit UV radiation up to 5 times as strong as the Australian midday sun

Kat O'Connor

The HSE is urging people in Ireland to stop using sunbeds.

The National Cancer Control Programme is warning people about the extreme dangers associated with sunbeds.

They explained that sunbeds give out harmful ultraviolet rays. These rays then damage the DNA in your skin cells.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer Working Group said sunbeds are carcinogenic to people.

They’re particularly concerned about people under the age of 35, who frequently use sunbeds.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland, but many people continue to use sunbeds despite the major dangers.

Speaking about the increase in skin cancer cases, Dr. Triona McCarthy said:

“Sunbeds give out UV rays that increase the risk of developing skin cancer, both melanoma, and non-melanoma skin cancer. There is no safe limit for exposure to UV radiation from sunbeds.

“It is important to remember that if you use fake tan it doesn’t protect you from UV rays. It is still important to protect yourself from the sun by following the SunSmart 5 S’s”.

“Skin cancer is the most common and fastest growing cancer in Ireland with almost 13,000 cases each year. Most skin cancers can be prevented by protecting skin from the sun when outdoors by following the SunSmart 5 S’s and by not using tanning beds.”

Children and teenagers are “particularly vulnerable to getting skin cancer”.

“The risk of cutaneous melanoma is increased by 75%”

“Children who use sunbeds are much more likely to get the most serious type of skin cancer when they are adults.”

The HSE stressed that being tan isn’t necessarily healthy.

“While the perception is that the tanned look is healthy, it is ironic that tanned skin is in fact damaged skin. Skin cancer is the most common cause of cancer in Ireland. Figures indicate that there are approximately 8000 cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer every year and 800 cases of malignant melanoma.”

7% of the population use sunbeds, with 3% using them nearly once a week.

The HSE warned that tanning beds can emit Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) radiation up to 5 times as strong as the Australian midday sun.

The risk of cutaneous melanoma is increased by 75% when the use of tanning beds starts before the age of 30.

Click here for more advice from the HSE.