Solaria/solariums emit ultraviolet radiation (UVR) - both UVA and UVB.
Both these forms of ultraviolet radiation are known to cause cancer.
The more your skin is exposed to UVR the greater your risk of developing skin and eye cancers. Risk is increased whether the UVR is from the sun or from artificial sources such as solaria, sunbeds or sunlamps.
In Australia the National Standard (AS/NZS 2635:2008) for Solaria for Cosmetic Purposes which sets the requirements for operation and management of solariums (supersedes AS/NZS 2635:2002).
The major features of the new Standard include:
- Restricting use to people age 18 and over
- Banning unsupervised operations and ensuring people supervising sunbeds have undertaken appropriate training in the operation and use of equipment and assessment of skin photo types
- Ensuring all clients complete a skin type assessment and consent forms
- Banning people with skin that always burns and never tans from using sunbeds
- Ensuring protective eyewear is always worn
- Making no claims of non-cosmetic health benefits or that solaria use is safe and
- Keeping client records for at least two years covering date, time of visit, skin type assessment and level of exposure.
If you are considering visiting a solarium or using a sunbed, it is recommended that you familiarise yourself with the risks associated with their use. The World Health Organization, the Australasian College of Dermatologists and the Cancer Council Australia do not recommend the use of artificial UV tanning devices for cosmetic purposes.
For more information about the risks of using solaria see The Cancer Council Australia (August 2007) Position Statement: Dangers of Solariums.