Liverpool council calls for a crack down on tanning salons


Liverpool City Council is launching a new campaign in order to crack down on rogue tanning salons that do not act within current legalisation.

The Look To Die For Campaign has been launched to educate users and push for tighter regulation on sun beds.

The use of sunbeds has been a serious issue in Liverpool, as councillor Roy Gladden said, “Hundreds of Liverpudlians are going through our hospitals with melanoma every week.”

However, the Sunbed Association’s Gary Lipman has branded the new campaign an unnecessary attack on the sun bed industry. “The Sunbed Association is at a complete loss to understand why Liverpool City Council has launched this campaign,” he said. The association supports the legalisation that prohibits the use to anyone under 18. “Membership of The Sunbed Association also requires all staff to be properly trained, for customers to be screened and provide information and advice about tanning responsibly,” he added.

According to the Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010, which came into force in spring 2011, tanning salons could face a £20,000 fine if they allow under-18s to use the sunbeds. 

Prior to this regulation, Cancer Research UK found that 50% of 15-17 year old girls in Liverpool were using sunbeds on a weekly basis.  Further research has found that even after the legislation, tanning salons were providing sun beds for under-18s.

Gladden aims to give local authorities “the powers they need to protect” locals. This will be achieved through ensuring that every sun bed premise is fully licensed and users aware of the dangers. 

Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group and Cancer Research UK have supported the campaign. It plans to educate users in safer alternatives to sunbeds, including demonstrations on applying fake tan and sessions with tanning experts.  A recent survey found that only a third of sunbed users were concerned with the potential risks involved. 

Professional Beauty reported that in April, Malibu Sun shop owner David Kirkham was prosecuted for failing to supply clients with consultation or protective eyewear. In the same month, Bury gym owner Steward Hall was prosecuted after a 15 year-old girl sustained severe burns using his facilities. Salons in West Yorkshire were also in breach of regulations, exceeding the EU standard for tanning equipment by 200%.