The results of the 2008/2009 check will feed into a follow-up project
launched today which will involve the UK and eleven other member states
(Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary,
Latvia, Norway, Portugal and the Netherlands).
Financed by the European Commission, this second phase will entail training
more inspectors, more measurement checks on sunbeds and improving information
given to consumers, especially young consumers, on the possible risks of sunbed
The outcome of this project should be available at the end of 2011.
Tanning salons should:
- provide consumers with sufficient information and advice about the tanning
scheme suitable for their skin type;
- refuse the use of sunbeds to under 18s and give clear information about the
hazards of UV radiation;
- hold interviews with new customers and ensure that the information and
advice provided is tailored to each consumer;
- insist on the use of eye protection,
- aim to register intakes and tanning programs for customers.
- sunbeds must carry warnings and the UV radiation emitted should be
restricted to 0.3 watts per square metre.
What are the UV radiation emission limits for sunbeds?
The limit for effective irradiance of 0.3 W/m2 (Watt per square metre) was
recommended by the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) in its opinion on the biological effects of
ultraviolet radiation on health with particular reference to sunbeds for
cosmetic purposes. This limit was subsequently added to the European standard
relevant for sunbeds, EN 60335-2-27.
Which rules govern the safety of sunbeds and sunbed services?
With respect to the safety of sunbeds there is a combination of rules which
are as follows:
The European safety framework covering sunbeds is based on the Low Voltage
Directive (LVD) and
European Standard EN 60335-2-27, Regulation 765/2008/EC and the General Product Safety Directive.
In accordance with the provisions of the Low Voltage Directive, products
(when placed on the EU market) shall be manufactured in accordance with good
engineering practice in safety matters. European harmonised standards
(which are voluntary), provide a presumption of conformity with the essential
safety requirements of LVD. Recently, EN 60335-2-27:2003, which is the European
standard applicable to sunbeds, was amended by the European standardisation
body Cenelec, following a mandate issued by the Commission. This amended
standard is applicable as of 1 April 2009 and imposes the limits for UV
radiation (see below).
Under the General Product Safety Directive (GPSD), market surveillance
officers are allowed to check the safety of sunbeds (according to the revised
standard) used in tanning studios for those sunbeds operated directly by the
consumer. The GPSD also allows Member States to take measures against products
posing a serious risk for the health and safety of consumers.
Furthermore, with the coming into force of Regulation 765/2008/EC on 1
January 2010, Member States must take measures against non-complying or
dangerous sunbeds, regardlessofwhether they are operated by consumers or by
a service provider.
Member States are also obliged to notify the Commission, via the RAPEX system when they take measures against products found
to be posing a serious risk to the health and safety of consumers.
There are no EU level rules which govern the safety of sunbed
Are the full health effects of UV radiation tanning devices
The Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) has noted that
ultraviolet radiation (UVR) tanning devices were not in widespread use before
the 1990s and the full health effects of their use are not yet known. It will
take several years before the real picture of the role of UVR tanning devices
in inducing skin cancer becomes fully apparent. This is due to the long
induction period of the cancer.
The SCCP is of the opinion that the use of UVR tanning devices to achieve
and maintain cosmetic tanning, whether by UVB and/or UVA radiation, is likely
to increase the risk of malignant melanoma of the skin and possibly ocular
melanoma. People with known risk factors for skin cancer, especially malignant
melanoma, should be advised not to use UVR tanning devices. Specifically, these
- skin phototypes I and II and the presence of freckles
- atypical and/or multiple moles
- family history of melanoma
Finally, the SCCP notes that the risk of melanoma seems to be particularly
high when using sunbeds at a young age. Thus UVR tanning devices should not be
used by individuals under the age of 18 years.
Further background information
Q&A on sunbed safety:
 Directive 2006/95/EC,
OJEU L374, 27.12.2006, p. 10
 EN 60335-2-27: Household
and similar electrical appliances – Safety Part 2-27: Particular requirements
for appliances for skin exposure to ultraviolet and infrared radiation
 Regulation (EC) No
765/2008 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance
relating to the marketing of products, OJ L218, 13.8.2008, p.30.
 Directive 2001/95/EC of
the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 December 2001 on general
product safety OJ L 11, 15.1.2002, p. 4.
For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973