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Public Health (23-01-2006)

Sun Beds and Health: Commission launches public consultation on health effects of ultraviolet radiation

The Commission has today launched an online public consultation on a preliminary Opinion from the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP), which looks at the effects of ultraviolet radiation on health. In particular, the Opinion studies the health effects of the use of sun beds for cosmetic purposes. The preliminary SCCP Opinion finds that the use of sun beds to achieve and maintain a tan is likely to increase the risk of malignant melanoma/skin cancer. It states that people with known risk factors for skin cancer, specifically people aged under 18 years, those with fair skin, freckles and/or moles, and people with a family history of melanoma should be advised not to use sun beds. The preliminary Opinion, which was requested by the Commission in late 2004, looks at both natural (sun) and artificial (sun beds) sources of UV radiation, and highlights the chronic and acute health effects of both. On the basis of this scientific opinion and the results of the online consultation, the Commission will consider what harmonised risk management measures should be taken at EU-level. These could include additional design requirements, more information to the public on precautions to be taken in relation sun bed use, warnings to the sun bed users of the risk of UVR exposure, the development of criteria and standards to be applied by tanning centre operators, and mandatory safety instructions to be provided by sun bed manufacturers. The online consultation will run until March 6th.
For the preliminary SCCP Opinion, see: http://europa.eu.int/comm/health/ph_risk/committees/04_sccp/sccp_cons_03_en.htm
Stakeholders are invited to submit comments to:  Sanco-Sc6-Secretariat@cec.eu.int