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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 December 2006, 08:31 GMT
Sunbed bill 'backed by most MSPs'
Person using sunbed
Mr Macintosh said many salons were unmanned and coin-operated
A proposed new law which would regulate Scotland's sunbed salons is set to start its journey through parliament.

A members' bill lodged by Ken Macintosh MSP calls for a ban on unstaffed premises and on children using sunbeds.

Mr Macintosh said 67 MSPs had already given their support to his Regulation of Sunbed Parlours Bill, which is to be scrutinised by the Scottish Parliament.

Scotland has more salons per head of population than any other part of the UK.

The MSP for East Renfrewshire, who is joint chairman of Holyrood's cross-party group on cancer, said: "We know that without controls in place, children as young as nine or 10 are using these sunbeds.

"In many places the machines are coin-operated and unsupervised and there is no one there to warn young people of the health risks.

"I am delighted that not only is there a clear majority in the Scottish Parliament in support of this public health measure, MSPs from every party have signed up."

Sunbeds give out UV rays and we believe people should be made aware of the risks associated with use
Sara Hiom
Cancer Research UK

The bill is unlikely to be dealt with before the Holyrood elections, Mr Macintosh said, but he is confident it will be enacted later in the year.

The World Health Organisation has highlighted "growing evidence" that the ultraviolet radiation emitted by sunbeds could increase the risk of developing skin cancer.

Research has suggested that sunbeds are responsible for an estimated 100 deaths in Britain each year and higher rates of melanoma have been reported north of the border than the rest of the UK.

Sara Hiom, head of health information at Cancer Research UK, has backed Mr Macintosh's bill.

"A licensing scheme would aim to prevent children and teenagers from using sunbeds and to phase out all coin-operated, unmanned sunbeds," she said.

"Like the sun, sunbeds give out UV rays and we believe people should be made aware of the risks associated with use."

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