Sunbed salons 'must do more' to protect against eye damage
Tanning salons are not doing enough to protect sunbed usersfrom serious long-term eye damage, says a national safety campaigning group. Last week the Northern Ireland Assembly passed a Bill that will banunder-18s from using sunbeds and bring the country it in line with England andWales, where a similar ban comes into force next month. Scotland has bannedunder-18s from using sunbeds since 2008. However, not-for-profit organisation APIL (Association ofPersonal Injury Lawyers) has called for all tanning salons to provide customerswith protective eyewear free of charge. 'When tanners visit the electric beach they can buy protective eyewear,but it's really only an optional extra. If every customer were given theeyewear then people would hopefully understand that it's important to wear it,'said Peter Jack, APIL co-ordinator for Northern Ireland. The Northern Ireland Assembly has made strategic plans to reduceinstances of UV related cancers through public awareness campaigns, but APILsays not enough emphasis is placed on the potential damage to eyes. 'Not enough sunbed users are wise to the risk of conjunctivitis,cataracts and uveal melanoma which can, in extreme cases, result in thesufferer having her eyes removed completely,' said Jack. He added: 'Obviously it's good that we have messages about the risks ofskin cancer drilled into us, but more people need to be making a noise about UVeye damage too.'