Australian legislators announce plans to phase out sunbeds

While Britain’s local authorities are working to ensure salons and other sunbed operators comply with safety regulations, state legislators in Queensland, Australia, have announced plans to ban UV tanning units in the state.

Under the new changes to existing legislation, sunbeds in Queensland will be switched off by December 31 2014, with similar bans proposed in other Australian states.

“Consultation with the industry has shown that businesses feel confident in being able to transition away from the use of UV tanning products without adversely impacting the business,” said health minister Lawrence Springborg in a statement.

The Australian market is very different to the UK market when it comes to tanning, not least because the climate in Australia, particularly subtropical Queensland, means that consumers are exposed to much more natural sunlight than the British public.

In December 2012, legislation was announced that prohibited licences for new sunbeds in Queensland and mooted plans for a total ban in the state, giving businesses time to prepare.

There have also been proposals for bans in New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia.

Queensland Health will oversee the collection and disposal of machines in the state. Springborg added that the Government is prepared to compensate businesses for their equipment, to the amount of AUD$1,000 per machine.

No such ban is being considered in the UK, where laws exist to ensure safe use of sunbeds. All sunbeds in use here must comply to 0.3W/m2 legislation, which means their UV emissions are no higher than the midday Mediterranean sun.