Checks put the heat on sunbed operators

It is a criminal offence to offer or allow a person under the age of 18 to use a sunbed.
It is a criminal offence to offer or allow a person under the age of 18 to use a sunbed.

Checks on sunbeds, to see whether they are emitting the right levels of UV and that under 18s aren’t using them, have taken place in Northumberland.

A programme of spot checks and unannounced visits to tanning salons, beauty parlours, hairdressers, gyms, and other outlets offering sunbed treatments was carried out by Northumberland County Council’s Trading Standards officers.

They have been checking that equipment complies with the legal limits for tanning rays and that operators are asking for proof of age – a regulation which is designed to help protect young skin which is particularly susceptible to damage from the harmful effects of UV.

Dave Sayer, business compliance and public safety manager at the county council, said: “Our previous inspections in 2016 revealed sunbeds were emitting higher than legal levels of UV at 46% of premises in the county. Since then we’ve done a lot of work with owners and operators and the situation has reversed with 52 beds and showers tested all found to meet the right legal standards.”

“Sunbeds are required by law to be set at levels which are considered to be safe when they are used sensibly. The legal limit is 0.3W/m2 of UV which is the equivalent to being out in the Mediterranean sun at midday at the height of the summer.