Press Release

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

Further to her announcement of 9 June 2010, the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, T.D., confirmed today (Tuesday, 29th June) that the Government has approved the drafting of a Bill to regulate the use of sunbeds.

The main provisions for inclusion in the Bill are as follows:-

(i) to prohibit the sale or hire of sunbeds to anyone under 18 years of age;

(ii) to prohibit the use of sunbeds in an unsupervised premises;

(iii) to require the placing of warning signs in sunbed premises;

(iv) to require the placing of warning labels on sunbeds;

(v) to provide an exemption for sunbed use for medical purposes;

(vi) to require the completion of informed consent forms by persons using sunbeds in commercial premises;

(vii) to require sunbed operators to supply protective eyewear;

(viii) to prohibit those with skin type 1 (very fair skin) from using sunbeds;

(ix) to require sunbed operators to provide staff training;

(x) to control the remote sale or hire of sunbeds for those under 18 years of age;

(xi) to prohibit claims attributing health benefits to sunbed use;

(xii) to prohibit promotional marketing practices;

(xiii) to provide for enforcement to be undertaken by the Health Service Executive;

(xiv) to provide for a fee to be prescribed for the registration of sunbed premises;

The Minister noted that “there has been a growing body of evidence over recent years, that the use of sunbeds, especially by children, should be restricted because of the associated increased risk of skin cancer and other health problems. Other recommendations by experts include ensuring that adequate protective eyewear is provided for users, providing users with information on the health risks associated with the use of sunbeds and prohibiting sunbed outlets and retailers from attributing health benefits to sunbed use”.

The Minister welcomed the approval to proceed with the drafting of this comprehensive piece of legislation.