Norwich City Council’s teen tanning warning

Norwich tanning salons illegally offering sunbed sessions to under-18s are being warned that they run risk of a �20,000 fine following moves to tighten up the rules.

The Sundbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 aims to protect under 18s from risks to their health posed by using sunbeds. The change in the law comes after findings from Cancer Research UK showed that two people under the age of 35 are diagnosed with melanoma each day.

The new law, which came into effect on April 6 this year, makes it illegal to sell or offer tanning sessions to anyone under 18, including any packages offering tanning sessions.

Now, health and safety officers from Norwich City Council will be visiting the city's tanning premises in the coming months to make sure they all understand and comply with the law.

Sue Thomas, health and safety officer for the city council, said: 'We have written to all the relevant businesses in Norwich to make sure they are aware of the change in law and to offer guidance should they need it.

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'This change in the law will help to protect a vulnerable group which may not always be fully aware of the risks posed to their health from using tanning equipment.'

The act prevents under 18s from being allowed to use tanning salons and sunbeds at premises including beauty salons, leisure centres, gyms and hotels; being offered the use of a sunbed; and being allowed in an area reserved for sunbed users.

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And businesses that fall foul of the law face a maximum fine of �20,000.

Surveys in 2008 and 2009 by Cancer Research UK showed that 6pc of children age 11 to 17 had used a sunbed. But overexposure can lead to skin cancer, including malignant melanoma which causes about 2000 deaths per year (not all sunbed-related).

Kathy Banks, chief executive of the Sunbed Association, said members based in and around Norwich were up to speed with the legal changes and many had already been operating a voluntary ban before the new rules were brought in.

'I'm 100pc certain that our members are keeping to the law,' she said. 'Even before the regulations were brought in we provided them with information about the changes, including posters to say it's illegal. These rules carry a hefty fine, and no business is going to be stupid enough to ignore this law.'

In 2009 the Evening News reported how Cosmopolitan tanning salon in Old Catton in February was ahead of the game by introducing its own guidelines, including restrictions on usage and parental permission for all under 18s.

Have you had a bad sunbed experience? Contact reporter Shaun Lowthorpe on 01603 772471 or email

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