Sunbeds

Provisions relating to those under 18 commenced from 21 July 2014

The Public Health (Sunbeds) Act 2014, (No. 12 of 2014) was signed into law on 24 June 2014. The Act has been published and is available on the Oireachtas website .

The Act makes it an offence to:-

  • sell or hire a sunbed to any person under 18 years of age;
  • allow a person under 18 years of age use a sunbed on a sunbed premises;
  • sell the use of a sunbed on a sunbed premises to a person under 18 years of age ;
  • allow a person under 18 years of age to be in a restricted area unless in the course of their employment.

The Act is being commenced on a phased basis. The provisions set out above relating to those aged under 18 years of age were commenced on the 21 July 2014. (See Commencement Order Public Health (Sunbeds) Act 2014 (Commencement) Order 2014 (S.I. No. 299 of 2014).

Provisions commenced under Phase II come into operation on 2 March 2015

The Minister for Health has signed 7 Statutory Instruments (including a commencement order) which come into force on 2 March 2015.

The Statutory Instruments are as follows:-

1. Public Health (Sunbeds) Act, 2014 (Commencement) Order 2015 (S.I. No. 37 of 2015).

This Commencement Order provides that the sections in the Act which will regulate the compulsory use of protective eyewear, forbid unsupervised use of sunbeds, impose hygiene requirements and forbid the making of health claims for sunbeds come into operation on 2 March 2015.

The above Regulations were amended by the Public Health (Sunbeds) (Health Information) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 168 of 2015) to allow for multiple use of the Health Information Form and they also set out the processes to be followed by the owner, manager or employee of a sunbed business regarding the provision of health information to a person with sight or literacy problems.

2. Public Health (Sunbeds) (Health Information) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 50 of 2015);

These Regulations prescribe the information on the health effects and other information relating to the use of sunbeds to be provided to a person each time he or she proposes to use, hire or purchase a sunbed. These Regulations also prescribe the form to be signed by such person in order to confirm he or she has been provided with a copy of the prescribed information and has had an opportunity to read and consider it.

The above Regulations were amended by the Public Health (Sunbeds) (Health Information) Regulations 2015 (SI. No. 168 of 2015) to allow for multiple use of the Health Information Form and they also set out the processes to be followed by the owner, manager or employee of a sunbed business regarding the provision of health information to a person with sight or literacy problems.

Health Information Forms

Health Warning Information

3. Public Health (Sunbeds) (Prohibition of Certain Marketing Practices) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 51 of 2015);

These Regulations prohibit certain marketing practices, such as “happy hours”, “unlimited use of sunbeds offers” which may encourage excessive use. These marketing practices are prohibited for the purpose of protecting public health and in particular for the purpose of reducing the risk to health arising from the use of sunbeds.

The above Regulations were amended by the Public Health (Sunbeds) (Prohibition of Certain Marketing Practices) (Amendment) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 279 of 2015) to prohibit the use of a sunbed from being advertised, promoted or made available on condition that the sunbed is used or made available for a minimum period of time greater than one minute.

4. Public Health (Sunbeds) (Notification) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 52 of 2015);

These Regulations require sunbed business owners to notify the HSE and also provide for a “notification” fee. The notification fee is €120 in respect of each premises – see Guidance for Industry for further details.

5. Public Health (Sunbeds) (Warning Signs) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 53 of 2015).

These Regulations require the display of warning signs on sunbed premises and on websites or social media sites which advertise sunbeds for sale or hire.

Warning Sign Sunbed Premises

Warning Sign Website

6. Public Health (Sunbeds) (Fixed Payment Notices) Regulations 2015 (S.I. No. 60 of 2015)

These Regulations set the amount of a Fixed Payment of €300 for a relevant offence.

To assist industry in complying with the above requirements please see Public Health (Sunbeds) Act 2014 (No. 12 of 2014) Guidance for Industry.  Please also see Frequently Asked Questions which should also be of assistance.

It will be an offence to contravene any of the provisions set out in the Regulations listed above. The provisions of the Act will be enforced by the Environmental Health Officers of the HSE’s Environmental Health Service. These officers are currently responsible for enforcement of environmental health legislation including tobacco control and food safety.

Notification Process

To obtain a Notification Form and information on the notification process please contact the Environmental Health Service of the HSE at: the Sunbed National Office, Environmental Health Service, HSE, Galway Business Park, Dangan, Galway.email sunbeds@hse.ie Telephone – 091 737350. The notification fee is €120 for each sunbed premises.

Sunbeds

A sunbed is any tanning unit used to tan the skin with UV radiation. The amount of UV radiation you get from a sunbed can be as much as 15 times higher than what you would get from the midday Mediterranean sun. Contrary to what some people might think, using a sunbed is not a safer way of getting a tan than from the sun. It exposes your skin to UVA and UVB rays that damage your skin cells and can lead to skin cancer.

There has been a growing body of evidence over recent years that the use of sunbeds is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer and other health problems and therefore their use should be restricted and in the case of children, prohibited. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reclassified sunbed use from a group 2A carcinogen (probably carcinogenic to humans) to a Group 1 carcinogen (carcinogenic to humans).

The Public Health (Sunbeds) Act 2014 addresses the need to protect the public from the risk of skin damage and the increased risk of developing skin cancer. It also aims to promote a greater public awareness across all age groups of the dangers of developing skin cancer, premature ageing and eye damage from exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). In this regard, the Minister said “this is an essential step to protect children’s health and wellbeing and an important preventative measure in terms of skin cancer.”

Further Information

For further information regarding the Act please contact the Environmental Health Unit of the Department of Health at: Email address – ehu@health.gov.ie Phone +353 (0)1 6354403.

For information or enquiries regarding enforcement or to make a complaint please contact the Sunbed National Office, Environmental Health Service, HSE, Galway Business Park, Dangan, Galway. The email address is sunbeds@hse.ie The phone number is 091 737350.

A webpage on sunbeds and sunbeds premises is available on the HSE’s website here.

A webpage on sunbeds is available on the Irish Cancer Society’s website here.