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The Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010
The Sunbed law which, came into force on the 8 April 2011, prevents the use of sunbeds on commercial business premises by children and young people under the age of 18.
Skin cancer rates are increasing due to an over-exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, whether from natural sunlight or artificial rays from the use of sunbeds and sunlamps. In 2007 there were over 10,670 incidences of malignant melanoma , the most dangerous form of skin cancer, in the UK. It is now the second most common cancer in 15-24 year-olds in the UK. Young skin is particularly vulnerable and when sunbeds are used at a young age the risk of developing melanoma becomes particularly high.
The Act defines a sunbed as 'an electrically-powered device designed to produce tanning of the human skin by emission of ultra-violet radiation'. This definition includes lie-down sunbeds, canopy sunbeds, vertical stand-in sunbeds, sun showers and portable sun lamps.
The Act imposes a duty on anyone involved in carrying on a sunbed business to ensure that:
No person under the age of 18 years:
Where a sunbed is located in a room, but is not also located in an enclosed space reserved for the users of that sunbed, then the whole room is a restricted zone. For example, a free standing sunbed located in the corner of an open plan area restricts the use of that whole area to those over 18 years old. However, if the sunbed was partitioned off with a screen to make the sunbed partly or wholly enclosed, then only the space enclosed by the partition would be a restricted zone. A person under 18 could enter the open plan area without an offence being committed as long as they did not go beyond the partition and into the restricted zone.
For more practical examples of restricted zones, including the use of cubicle-style sunbeds, please refer to the Department of Health's Guidance on the implementation of the Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 in the download section.
In order to prevent an offence being committed on your commercial premises, you should implement the following control measures:
For further advice about how to comply with the law please refer to the Department of Health's Information for Sunbed Business guidance leaflet in the download section at the bottom of this page.
The requirements of the Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 are in addition to your responsibilities under health and safety legislation.
Salon operators are legally required to assess risks to health and safety caused by their work activities- including risks to clients and employees from exposure to UV radiation - and take measures to control these risks so far as reasonably practicable.
The HSE has published guidance for operators on how to reduce the health risks associated with the use of UV tanning equipment. You can find this guidance as a download at the bottom of this page. Good practice recommendations include:
If you require help with something in this section, please contact us.