Press Release

Statement by the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, T.D., regarding regulation of sunbed use

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, T.D., confirmed today (Wednesday , 9th June)  that she will seek Government approval later this month to introduce comprehensive legislation to regulate the use of sunbeds. This legislation, entitled the Public Health (Sunbeds) Bill,  will, subject to Government approval, include the following measures:

Prohibit the use of sunbeds by those under 18 years of age;
Prohibit the sale or hire of sunbeds to anyone under 18 years of age;
Prohibit the use of sunbeds in an unsupervised premises;
Require the placing of warning signs in sunbed premises;
Require the placing of warning labels on sunbeds;
Introduce enforcement provisions and penalties for non-compliance;
Allow exemptions for sunbed use for medical purposes.

“ I propose to submit a Memorandum to Government seeking approval to draft a Bill restricting the use of sunbeds along these lines by the end of June. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland and is a particular problem for Irish people because of their fair skin. The measures I am proposing to introduce are very much in keeping with the Government’s broader cancer control agenda. The Memorandum for Government will, among other things, take into account recommendations from a range of bodies including the World Health Organisation, the Irish Cancer Society, the Environmental Health Officers Association and the National Cancer Control Programme.”

The Minister also noted that the 2009 reclassification of sunbed use as a Group 1 carcinogen (carcinogenic to humans) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC)) places sunbed use in the same category as environmental tobacco smoke and further highlights the need for robust legislation in this area.