A revised Standard for the operation and management of solaria has been published recommending the maximum UV intensity for sunbeds is cut by 40 per cent.
The Standard also, for the first time, restricts the use of sunbeds to people aged 18 and over and requests all operators to warn clients that there is evidence of increased risk of radiation from tanning units contributing to skin cancer and photo-ageing. Solaria for cosmetic purposes, AS/NZS 2635:2008, was revised following concerns from health groups and the community about the increased risks to users of sun-tanning appliances.
The new Standard strongly recommends solaria operators take greater responsibility to ensure the solaria use is controlled – by managing tanning sessions according to the user’s skin type, and the number of prior sessions the user has had. Operators are also asked to ensure clients complete skin type assessment forms to assist operators determine recommended ultra violet (UV) exposure. A joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committee, CS-064 Solaria, developed the Standard.
Debbie Chin, CEO Standards New Zealand, says that since the Standard was last published (in 2002), new evidence has emerged showing a stronger link between solaria use and skin cancer.
‘This revised Standard will go a long way to help protect the community from the dangers of excessive use of sunbeds.’
‘While the new Standard is voluntary in New Zealand, we – along with the New Zealand committee representatives that helped develop the Standard – are expecting the revised Standard to provide crucial guidance to solaria operators to enable provide greater protection to consumers.’
New Zealand representatives on the development committee included Dr Judith Galtry, Cancer Society of New Zealand and Prof. Marius Rademaker, New Zealand Dermatological Society.
Dr Judith Galtry, Cancer Society of New Zealand’s Skin Cancer Control Advisor, notes that the Cancer Society ‘welcomes the revised Solaria Standard as it potentially provides New Zealand consumers with increased protection from the harmful effects of excess UV exposure through strengthening the requirements for installing, maintaining and operating solaria for cosmetic purposes.’
AS/NZS 2635:2008 provides a basis for setting up and operating artificial tanning equipment, particularly in commercial establishments with solarium facilities. The revised Standard aims to provide operators and users of artificial tanning equipment with procedures for reducing the risk associated with indoor tanning.