Inspections keep the heat on Northumberland sunbed operators
March 21, 2019
Checks on sunbeds, to see whether they are emitting the right levels of UV and that under 18s aren’t using them, have taken place in Northumberland, in a bid to help reassure residents who want to get a sun kissed look for summer this year without having to rely on the sun shining.
A programme of spot checks and unannounced visits to tanning salons, beauty parlours, hairdressers, gyms, and other outlets offering sunbed treatments was carried out by Northumberland County Council’s Trading Standards Officers.
They have been checking that equipment complies with the legal limits for tanning rays and that operators are asking for proof of age – a regulation which is designed to help protect young skin which is particularly susceptible to damage from the harmful effects of UV.
Dave Sayer, Business Compliance and Public Safety Manager at Northumberland County Council said: “Sunbeds are required by law to be set at levels which are considered to be safe when they are used sensibly. The legal limit is 0.3W/m2 of UV which is the equivalent to being out in the Mediterranean sun at midday at the height of the summer.
“Our previous inspections in 2016 revealed sunbeds were emitting higher than legal levels of UV at 46% of premises in the county. Since then we’ve done a lot of work with owners and operators and the situation has reversed with 52 beds and showers tested all found to meet the right legal standards.”
Councillor John Riddle , Cabinet Member for Public Protection at Northumberland County Council said: “This is the time of year when people are keen to give themselves a bit of colour whether or not they are going on holiday – or to top up their tans.
“But UV – whether from the sun or sunbeds – has the potential to cause damage, including skin cancer. That’s why there are legal standards about the strength of sunbeds which are there to protect consumers and we want Northumberland residents to feel reassured that if they choose to use a sunbed they can do so with confidence that they will receive the legal level of tanning rays.
“I am very pleased that our Trading Standards officers have pushed up compliance across the county so successfully.