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Last Updated: Friday, 6 February, 2004, 11:19 GMT
Sunbed ban could spread
Sunbed
Experts say sunbeds can cause skin cancer and premature ageing

Sun seekers soaking up the rays in solariums at leisure centres throughout Gwynedd could soon be a thing of the past.

Gwynedd Council officers have recommended the removal of sunbeds in 10 county leisure centres because of concerns over possible health risks.

But councillors have postponed a decision on a ban until they hear directly from an expert.

The use of sunbeds has become a hot topic, and in October Anglesey was believed to have been the first council in Wales to withdraw them.

Earlier that month a leading medical expert warned that up to 100 people could be dying every year from skin cancer caused by them after research suggested 8% of exposure to ultra-violet rays came from sunbeds, with the rest from the sun.

The rays are the main cause of melanoma, which kills 1,600 people every year.

Professor Brian Diffey, from Newcastle General Hospital, said most cases of the potentially life-threatening cancer were caused by the sun, about 100 could be attributed to sunbeds, and he called for them to be discouraged.

'Pretty strong evidence'

In January, one of the UK's top skin experts, Professor Antony Young of King's College, London, said after reviewing all the major studies into their use over the past 20 years that young people should be banned from using sunbeds

Professor Young said there was now "pretty strong" evidence that sunbeds can cause skin cancer.

On Thursday Gwynedd Council's regeneration and scrutiny committee decided to postpone a decision on a ban.

It will consult a medical specialist whose evidence will be discussed at its next meeting on 8 April.

Assistant Director of Leisure Marianne Jackson said: "In the report submitted to the council on Thursday a British Medical Association article was quoted about the dangers of sunbeds.

"The use of sunbeds has raised questions for local authorities throughout the UK."




SEE ALSO:
Health row over sunbed ban
29 Oct 03  |  North West Wales
'Ban young from using sunbeds'
16 Jan 04  |  Health
Warning over sunbed deaths
01 Oct 03  |  Tyne/Wear
Q&A: Sunbeds
22 Sep 03  |  Health
Sunbed hotspots warned of dangers
11 Apr 03  |  Scotland


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