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Sunbeds & UV radiation

1. Introduction on sunbeds

    The SCCP opinion states:

    The cosmetic purpose of using a sunbed is to achieve a tan. The tanning effect has been demonstrated and quantified in a study that followed a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protocol (Caswell, 2000) with 3 weekly exposures for 8 weeks. A significant tanning effect was evident after 6 exposures and the level of tan increased steadily over the 8-week assessment period. Another study, with twice weekly exposure for 6 weeks, demonstrated tanning (Ruegemer et al, 2002).

    Commercial sunbeds were developed in the 1970s and came into widespread use in the 1990s. Thus, the full health effects of artificial tanning are not yet known. It will take several years before the real picture of the role of the sunbeds in inducing skin cancer becomes fully apparent, due to the long induction period of this disease.

    In this Opinion, the term “sunbed” refers to all types of UV tanning devices for cosmetic purposes.

    The six questions raised in the Terms of Reference have also been addressed by van der Leun and Forbes (2005).

    Source & ©: SCCP "Opinion on Biological effects of ultraviolet radiation relevant to health with particular reference to sunbeds for cosmetic purposes (2006)"  3. Opinion, p.6

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