Written answers

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Photo of Denis NaughtenDenis Naughten (Roscommon-South Leitrim, Independent)
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To ask the Minister for Health the position regarding the regulation for sunbed use here; the regulations in place at present and the plans for reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57579/12]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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The Deputy will be aware that there is growing evidence over recent years that sunbed use, especially by children, should be restricted because of the associated increased risk of skin cancer and other health problems.

Currently, there are no statutory regulations governing sunbed use. There are, however, regulations governing the product safety aspects of sunbed appliances which are enforced by the National Consumer Agency.

The Government has given its approval to the drafting of the Public Health (Sunbeds) Bill by the Office of the Attorney General. It is proposed to prohibit sunbed use by persons under 18 years of age and to promote a greater public awareness across all age groups of the dangers of developing skin cancer, premature ageing and eye damage from exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Key provisions proposed for inclusion in the Bill are:

(i) a prohibition on operators of sunbed premises from allowing anyone under 18 years of age to use a sunbed on their premises;

(ii) a prohibition on the sale to or hire of sunbeds to anyone under 18 years of age;

(iii) an exemption for medical treatment to be provided;

(iv) a prohibition on the use of sunbeds in unsupervised commercial premises;

(v) control on the remote sale or hire of sunbeds (internet transactions);

(vi) a requirement that sunbed operators provide training for staff;

(vii) an enforcement regime and the imposition of penalties for non-compliance;

(viii) an obligation on all sunbed operators to provide protective eyewear;

(ix) a requirement that warning signs be displayed in all sunbed premises;

(x) a prohibition on promotional marketing practices; and

(xi) a requirement on operators to ensure that sunbed users are made fully aware of the potential dangers of sunbed use.

My Department is currently working with the Office of the Attorney General on this legislation. The Bill, when drafted, will need to be notified to the EU Commission under the Technical Standards Directive prior to its publication.


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