THE sun has set on Queensland’s commercial UV tanning studios, with a statewide ban in force from 1st January 2015.
Acting Minister for Health Mark McArdle said the Government legislated the ban following concerns about the link between solarium use and skin cancer.
“Queensland already has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world and there is no question there’s a direct link between regular sunbed use and the incidence of malignant melanoma,” he said.
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“Encouraging people to be more sun safe and reducing the high rates of deadly skin cancer will help make Queensland one of the safest places to live and raise a family.”
Queensland Health recently launched the second phase of the Project SPF campaign which encourages young women to adopt sun safe behaviours.
“There has been a decline in the number of solarium operators in Queensland and the industry is definitely changing,” Mr McArdle said.
“Our education campaigns along with this strong legislative change to ban commercial solaria are important steps towards preventing skin cancer and protecting the health of Queenslanders.”
By mid-December 2014, a total of 88 solaria from 35 licensees across Queensland had been removed from commercial use and the equipment is in the process of being disposed of.
Queensland Health will use regulatory action in the New Year to take control of any of the remaining 55 solaria, owned by 8 licensees, which have not been surrendered or legally transferred.
Mr McArdle said the Department of Health had been working with Queensland licensees to assist them with the ban.
“We have, of course, been mindful of those businesses that have been impacted by these changes,” he said.
“Queensland Health offered owners an incentive payment if they elected to surrender their tanning beds prior to the expiry of their licences.”
As solaria were surrendered, or as licences have approached their expiry dates, Queensland Health had been arranging for the collection and disposal of the machines.
Commercial solaria will also be banned in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales on 1st January 2015.