25 October 2012
Many lives will be saved because of the SA Government’s announcement of a total ban on solaria.
Cancer Council SA has applauded today’s announcement by the South Australian Government, that all commercial solaria will be banned in South Australia from 31 December 2014.
“We are excited to see the SA Government taking this bold move which will save the lives of young image-conscious South Australians,” says Professor Brenda Wilson, Chief Executive, Cancer Council SA.
“Solaria are dangerous and unnecessary and evidence tells us that using a solarium before the age of 35 increases a person’s risk of melanoma by more than 75%.
“We also know that the people exposing themselves to this risk most frequently are young and female.
“Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with at least two in three Australians diagnosed with skin cancer before the age of 70. We need to take action in every way possible to prevent this from happening.
“Solaria emit levels of UV radiation up to three times as strong as the midday summer sun, with some (about 15%) exceeding this level and emitting UVA radiation up to six times as strong. There is no safe level of solaria use.
“Cancer Council SA called on the government earlier this year to follow the lead of their New South Wales counterparts in introducing this ban; we have continued to work with the government since that time and are delighted that they have acted.
“There’s nothing healthy about a tan – even more so in the case of a tan which comes from a solarium. We hope this announcement today will serve as a warning to South Australians and that between now and the introduction of the ban at the end of 2014, they will think twice before risking their lives by using solaria” says Professor Wilson.
Key facts and figures:
- Over 280,000 Australians were exposed to UV radiation from solaria in 2006.
- Young women are the most frequent users of solaria in Australia.
- It is estimated 1 in 6 melanomas in young people aged 18 to 29-years-old could be prevented in Australia by avoiding the use of solaria.
- Current regulations on solaria in SA: http://www.epa.sa.gov.au/environmental_info/radiation/solaria/requirements_for_owners
- Various studies have revealed poor compliance with many aspects of regulations among solaria operators in different Australian states, including enforcing age restrictions, providing consent forms, and barring access to users with skin type 1.