Several tanning salons across Melbourne are flouting laws and are allowing teenagers under 18-years to use sunbeds. Research by Cancer Council Victoria shows that around 80% solariums allowed access to teenagers who concealed their age or claimed to be 18-years old without being able to give any proof.
People with fair skin (skin type 1) are also banned from solarium use under legislation introduced in Victoria in 2008. Despite this ban several tanning salons permit people with fair skin to use the sunbeds.
Only 10% of solarium operators complied fully with the
rules like ban on under 18's, displaying health warnings, completing skin
assessments, ensuring clients wear protective eye wear and asking them
to sign a consent form explaining the risks.
People who use sunbeds before the age of 35-years are at a 75% increased risk of melanoma than those who have never used them. Solarium use is not safe as the UV radiation that is emitted is 3-times stronger than mid-day sun exposure. Studies indicate that every year there are 280 new melanoma cases, 40 melanoma-related deaths and 2570 new cases of squamous cell carcinoma cases in Australia.
Therefore the Health Department has now decided to hit fines of
up to $732,000 for companies and $146,000 for individuals who flout this law.