The dangers of sunbed use The use of sunbeds should be completely avoided. In fact, people who use indoor ultraviolet (UV) sunbeds are 74 per cent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never used them. The UV rays from sunbeds can also damage the DNA in your skin cells, and over time this damage can build up to cause skin cancer. Sunbeds can sometimes be marketed as a controlled way of getting a safer tan. In reality, sunbeds are no safer than exposure to the sun itself, and studies have shown they provide no positive health benefits. Healthcare professionals in many countries are trying to legislate against the use of sunbeds, and several European countries have already banned their use by people under the age of 18. Following a request from the European Commission, the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks reviewed recent evidence to update the 2006 Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products on the Biological effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) relevant to health, with particular reference to sunbeds for cosmetic purposes .
Véronique del Marmol
The review led to a preliminary opinion, which was published early in 2016 and made available for public consultation. EADV, in collabo- ration with Euromelanoma, the European Association of Dermato- Oncology and the European Dermatology Forum, submitted a joint statement/comment to the public consultation fully supporting the claims of the preliminary opinion on the adverse health effects of UVC lamps. On 30 November 2016, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER), taking into consideration the submitted comments, published its final opinion, which upheld the original claims that sunbeds are unsafe, cause skin cancer and should be avoided. Prof Véronique del Marmol, Professor of Dermatology at Brussels Free University (ULB) and EADV Board member, said the opinion supported the Academy’s long-standing position that sunbeds are dangerous and cause skin cancer: “We welcome it and look forward to seeing what the Commission is planning to do now that is clearer than ever that certain legislative measures need to be taken.”