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News & Media

New Zealand Society of Cosmetic Medicine (NZSCM) welcomes the introduction of regulations banning the use of sunbeds for people under the age of 18.

Media Release/10 April 2013

NZSCM president Dr Hans Raetz says it is well recognised that excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation at a young age increases the risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers.

"It is sensible and prudent that sunbed operators will have their machines strictly audited and are required by law to inform their customers about the risks inherent in sunbed usage," says Dr Raetz. "These measures will help to safeguard the New Zealand public against the rising risk of skin cancer."

The Government will amend the Health Act later this year to ban the use of sunbeds for people under 18. It is a key part of MP Paul Hutchison's Health (Skin Cancer and Trauma Prevention) Amendment Bill, which has been supported by NZSCM.

Dr Hutchison's private member's bill was designed to prevent avoidable harm from UV radiation through the use of solaria - sunlamps, sunbeds, or tanning units. The World Health Organisation reports the risk of skin cancer, particularly melanoma, increases by 75% when sunbeds are used before the age of 30.

NZSCM has also assisted Auckland Council to draft regulations in the proposed Health and Hygiene Bylaw regarding the use of commercial sunbeds and light-based therapies.

Dr Raetz says NZSCM will continue to be actively involved in measures that promote the health and safety of the public.

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