Sunbed ban sought

Central Leader - - NEWS -

Con­sumer NZ sup­ports amend­ments to the law around the use of sunbeds, but also says they don’t go far enough.

Par­lia­ment’s Health Se­lect Com­mit­tee has rec­om­mended amend­ing the law to make it il­le­gal for op­er­a­tors to al­low un­der-18s to use a sunbed. The amend­ment is con­tained in the Health (Pro­tec­tion) Amend­ment Bill. Con­sumer NZ chief ex­ec­u­tive Sue Chetwin wants to see a to­tal ban on sunbeds and is dis­ap­pointed the Health Se­lect Com­mit­tee didn’t en­dorse this.

A Con­sumer NZ mys­tery shop of 60 sunbed op­er­a­tors has found more than 40 per cent failed to im­ple­ment key safety checks. One op­er­a­tor also al­lowed a 14-year-old to use a sunbed, de­spite the in­dus­try’s vol­un­tary stan­dard re­strict­ing sunbed use to peo­ple 18 years and over.

‘‘Although this year’s sur­vey has shown an im­prove­ment in com­pli­ance with the vol­un­tary stan­dard, many op­er­a­tors are still not com­ply­ing with key safety cri­te­ria. Re­strict­ing sunbed use to peo­ple 18 and over won’t rem­edy the prob­lems we’ve found.’’

Chetwin says the re­sults show reg­u­la­tion of the sec­tor is needed.

Un­der the vol­un­tary stan­dard, peo­ple us­ing a sunbed should be given a con­sent form to sign that checks their age, spells out the risks of sunbed use, makes it clear who’s at high risk and em­pha­sises the im­por­tance of wear­ing protective gog­gles. In Con­sumer’s mys­tery shop, 13 op­er­a­tors didn’t pro­vide this.

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