Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

22/01/10 MP backs Sunbed ban for young people

Sunbeds Bill with Nicola

Rosie Cooper MP has backed calls to protect children from the dangers of sunbeds at a Cancer Research UK event in Parliament.

The West Lancashire MP has given her support to a Private Member's Bill to prevent under 18s from using sunbeds. The bill would also ban the use of coin-operated tanning beds, making it illegal to leave tanning salons without supervision, and would require all establishments with a tanning bed to display information about the risks of tanning.

She was among dozens of MPs who heard how children raise their risk of skin cancer in later life by using sunbeds - recently upgraded to a top class carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Girls Aloud member Nicola Roberts, who is currently filming a BBC documentary on tanning,.was on hand to raise awareness of the dangers to young people posed by tanning beds.

Cancer Research UK's recently commissioned survey found that in Liverpool and Sunderland half of all 15-17 year old girls have used sunbeds. Even more shocking is that more than a quarter of a million children aged 11-17 in the UK have used sunbeds.

Rosie supported Cardiff North MP Julie Morgan's Private Member's Bill to ensure that children were no longer able to put their health at risk in this way.

Rosie Cooper MP said: "I believe that the Government is doing the right thing in protecting children in the relatively unregulated area of tanning beds. There is currently little information and public knowledge about the risks of tanning.

"In 2006, skin cancer became the most common form of cancer in the UK, with over 10,400 malignant melanoma cases and at least 81,500 non-melanoma skin cancers.

"A report produced last month by Cancer Research UK, found some 250,000 11-to-17-year-olds in England were risking skin cancer by using sunbeds. Without proper monitoring and tanning as cheap as 30p per minute, it is only right that the Government should keep children from being exposed to high rates of radiation in the name of beauty that is only skin deep."

Harpal Kumar, Cancer Research UK's chief executive, said: "In Scotland under 18s are now banned from using sunbeds. But this is not the case in England and Wales. Cancer Research UK is deeply concerned about how easy it is for a very large number of youngsters, particularly girls, to use sunbeds and there is strong evidence linking sunbed use with skin cancer.

"In the UK, the number of people diagnosed with skin cancer is rising faster than any other cancer.  And we believe that getting a law passed in Parliament to protect young people and teenagers from the dangers of sunbeds is crucial to help buck this worrying trend."

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