Tanning beds in a tanning bed: Risks due to a lack of information, old equipment and exceeding limit values
The German supervisory authorities for tanning salons and nine other EU countries checked around 500 solarium benches at 300 locations over the course of a year on behalf of the EU Commission and found terrifying things.
The Brussels Commission announced its alarming results on Friday. They found that every seventh sunbed exceeded the specified limit values for UV radiation, which can be hazardous to health. Furthermore, the solarium users should often not be sufficiently informed about possible risks, e.g. by notices stuck on the devices, and minors are not adequately checked. Since the summer of 2009, young people under the age of 18 are prohibited from visiting a solarium in Germany. Devices are also said to be out of date and some protective goggles are missing.
The EU commissioner for consumer protection, the Maltese John Dalli, warned for the future to eliminate the grievances, since skin cancer doubles "every 15 to 20 years". According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 140,000 people develop skin cancer every year in Germany alone. Around 20,000 of these people have the malignant and very aggressive form of "malignant melanoma". Around 3000 Germans are said to die from it every year.
Representatives of the solarium industry complain about a lack of uniform legal regulations and certifications and the control for compliance. John Dalli emphasized that they wanted to talk to the industry and educate them more, especially among young people.
Naturopaths advocate the very selective use of a solarium in the dark season to lighten the mood or to prepare the skin for a stay in sunny areas. Users can make sure to wear protective goggles, check the test instructions on the devices and choose an individual tanning bed and tanning time that is adapted to the respective skin type. (Thorsten Fischer, naturopath osteopathy, 02/13/2010)