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Sinn Féin welcomes proposal to outlaw sun beds for under 18’s

19 November, 2009 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin MLA and deputy chair of the Health Committee, Michelle O’Neill, has welcomed the proposal by the Health Minister to outlaw the use of sun beds for those under the age of 18.

Speaking today Ms O’Neill said:

“Figures released earlier this year by the charity Cancer Research provide grave reading. Findings indicate that serious skin cancers are on the increase due to the use of sun beds and excessive tanning.

“This is extremely worrying news. The impact of sun beds and excessive tanning is known however not enough is being done to discourage people, especially young people from using these machines.

“Many indeed will use the machines before going on holidays and then while on holiday spend much to long under strong sunlight. This can severely increase the risk of some of the most deadly forms of skin cancer. In fact using a sun bed once a month or more, can double your risk of developing skin cancer.

“I welcome the proposal by the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey on outlawing the use of sun beds for those under the age of 18 and would strongly support this initiative.

“However two cautionary points are that of enforcement, which must be rigorous in order to protect our young people, and that of personal sun beds in people’s homes.

“Obviously more and more information is coming to light of the dangers of sun beds and I am calling on parents to take heed of this initiative and ensure that their teenagers are not using sun beds in the home.”

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