The use of sunbeds by people under the age of 18 is to be banned, Health Minister, Mary Harney, has confirmed.
Ms Harney said that she will be seeking Government approval ‘by the end of June' to introduce comprehensive legislation to regulate the use of sunbeds.
Subject to Government approval, the Public Health (Sunbeds) Bill will include the following measures:
-The use of sunbeds by those under the age of 18 will be prohibited.
-The sale or hire of sunbeds to anyone under 18 will be prohibited.
-The use of sunbeds in an unsupervised premises will be prohibited.
-Warning signs will have to be placed in sunbed premises.
-Warning labels will have to be placed on sunbeds.
Enforcement provisions will also be introduced and there will be penalties for non-compliance, although at this point, it is unclear what those penalties will be.
The legislation will allow exemptions for sunbed use where it is deemed for medical purposes.
"Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Ireland and is a particular problem for Irish people because of their fair skin. The measures I am proposing to introduce are very much in keeping with the Government's broader cancer control agenda," Minister Harney said.
She also pointed out that the 2009 reclassification of sunbed use as a group 1 carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer's (IARC) places sunbed use in the same category as environmental tobacco smoke ‘and further highlights the need for robust legislation in this area'.