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Ó Caoláin welcomes Sunbeds Regulation Bill

9 June, 2010 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin’s Dáil Leader and Spokesperson on Health and Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD has today welcomed the publication of the Irish Cancer Society-initiated Sunbeds Regulation Bill. The bill would make it an offence for a business to allow a child use a sunbed.

The Cavan-Monaghan Deputy said:

“The links between ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer are well known and Sinn Féin has long called for legislation to protect children from the dangers of sunbeds. Last year’s report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, published in The Lancet, indicated a 75 per cent increase in risk of melanoma where sunbed use begins at an early age. The report further stated that sunbeds should be moved to the ‘highest cancer risk’ category.

“As Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Health and Children, I have tabled repeated questions to Minister Harney on her intentions to bring forward legislation in this area. Although a Government bill has been promised on every Legislative Programme since January 2007 it has been continually postponed, allowing the needless exposure of hundreds or thousands of children to these dangerous carcinogens. The potential consequences of this delay can be seen in the fact that 752 new cases of melanoma were diagnosed in 2008 alone.

“While the Sunbeds Regulation Bill is an Opposition bill, it is nonetheless welcome as the first concrete legislative action toward protecting children from sunbeds. I urge the Government to accept the bill and to prioritise its movement through the Oireachtas. Sinn Féin will fully support its passage.

“Any further delay will only add to the Government’s litany of appalling failures to protect the lives and well-being of Irish children.” ENDS

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