Govt ban on tanning studios 'will save thousands of lives'
CANCER Council Queensland has said thousands of lives will be saved thanks to a State Government decision to ban the sale of solariums from the start of next year.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg announced the new regulations yesterday, which will mean the supply, use or ownership of a commercial solarium is against the law.
The ban also means licensed operators of solariums will not be able to replace equipment if it breaks down.
Cancer Council Queensland chief executive Jeff Dunn said the ban would lead to a total ban on the use of any commercial solariums.
"Queensland has the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, with more than 2600 people across the State diagnosed with melanoma each year, yet it remains the single most preventable cancer," Mr Dunn said.
"A ban on solariums will eliminate potentially deadly skin cancers linked to sunbed use, no doubt saving the lives of thousands of Queenslanders."
It was hoped that the ban would eventually wipe out the 80 registered solarium operators in Queensland.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said individuals would continue to be licensed until no more commercial solariums remained.
"This (ban) will prevent the establishment of new commercial enterprises based on exposure to UVR, as well as the expansion of those business that currently exist across the state," Mr Springborg said.
"Our current legislation requires operators to be licensed. This ban on new equipment will accelerate the trend away from solaria as existing equipment fails or as licensees relocate."
Despite agreeing on the health benefits, some Sunshine Coast residents found the ban to be unnecessary.
"I live in Indonesia and whenever I come home there is always another rule to abide by," a woman at Mooloolaba Beach said.
"If people want to do something that is bad for them, let them do it.
"You can't wrap people in cottonwool."
Health practitioners will still be able to use solariums for a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure, or privately-owned solariums for the personal use of an individual.