05/11/2006

A policy to save our skins

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), the British
professional body for environmental health representing over 10,000 members in
the UK working mainly in the public sector, is calling on local authorities to
ban sunbeds from their own premises and tighten controls in privately owned
premises.

Despite increasing effort and funding by central government agencies to inform
the public of the adverse effects of excessive UV exposure, and local
authorities assuming a lead role in the delivery of public health, many
continue to provide tanning facilities for users of their leisure facilities.
CIEH says 36% of local authorities who reviewed their policy made the decision
to keep sun beds, because they were a good source of income, are popular with
the public, and there was a lack of information to justify a ban.

The issue is the centrepiece of a forthcoming (19th May) conference, which will
focus on ways for local authorities to implement a safe sun policy. The CIEH is
urging local authorities to adopt active skin cancer prevention policies
featuring: the removal of sunbeds from local authority run leisure centres;
providing sun awareness campaigns, in particular targeting children through
parents and carers; providing shade in school playgrounds; providing suitable
sun protective clothing for outdoor employees; and making shade provision a
condition of planning permission for new developments.

The CIEH has launched a toolkit, Saving our skins, to help local authorities
tackle what is becoming an increasingly serious public health issue, there is
currently a proposal in Scotland to license tanning salons, which would ensure
that children do not use sunbeds and that all users are informed of the risks
associated with sunbed use.

More info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Chartered Institute of Environmental Health