In just five months, you won’t be able to walk into a salon anywhere in Queensland to use a solarium, writes Katie Clift of Cancer Council Queensland.
A small posse of pro-solarium lobby groups have been outraged by the move, trying desperately to incite public anxiety about infringements on individual liberties and personal choice.
Despite their huff and puff, the stats on sunbed risk speak for themselves, providing a watertight case in favour of the ban.
Research shows any sunbed use increases your risk of getting skin cancer by 20 per cent.
And if you’re under 35, the dangers are even greater – with a 59 per cent increased risk of developing a melanoma, combined with a 1.8 per cent increase in risk for each additional sunbed session per year.
So, a 26-year-old user who subjects him or herself to a sun bed session once a month over one year will increase their relative risk of developing melanoma by more than 80 per cent.
We’re talking about a deadly disease, friends. You might remember the powerful story of courageous Clare Oliver, who died at age 26 after being diagnosed with a melanoma caused by solarium use. Her message was simple: No tan is worth dying for.
Under current laws, it is illegal for a person with fair skin to use a commercial solarium. Solarium operators have a responsibility to turn away fair skinned clients, although enforcement of the law is difficult.
And that’s why we called on the State Government to ban sun beds once and for all, resulting in a full ban on commercial solaria as of December 31, 2014.
But there’s still a risk to the health of Queenslanders, with reports of people now buying tanning beds for personal use in their own homes.
Between October 2012 and October 2013, 111 tanning beds were advertised online for sale in Queensland.
Private possession and use is unregulated, unsupervised and unsafe.
In the interest of public health and saving lives, Cancer Council Queensland has called for an urgent ban on the private possession and use of solariums – a move the State Government is actively considering.
And more and more people are choosing to love the skin they’re in, influenced by stars like Hugh Jackman, who recently had potentially lethal skin cancers excised from his nose.
Not to mention a worldwide trend towards natural beauty and a phase out of the lobster look and the severe spray-tan orange.
My prediction for next season’s summer trend is that fair and natural will be the only fashion worth flouting – a great excuse to accessorise with stylish hats, statement sunglasses, silky kaftans and ultra-chic sunburn-free cool.
Embrace who you are, be an individual, and stay pretty forever by avoiding the sun tan. It’s so yesterday.
Want to know more? Check out cancerqld.org.au or call 13 11 20.
Share the stats with a friend, and think twice about using a sunbed before the end of 2014. It could save your life.