EU calls for sun bed regulation

In collaboration with the Press Association

The EU has called on member states to regulate the amount of cancer-causing UV-radiation produced by sun beds.

The recommendation came in a report issued to the European Commission (EC) by the Scientific Committee on Consumer products (SCCP).

Among its findings, the SCCP also warned that individuals at high-risk of UV-related cancer, such as children and those with fair complexions, should not use tanning machines

"Currently, apparently, there is no limit for manufacturers producing sun beds when it comes to the maximum level of ultraviolet radiation," said EC spokesman Gregor Kreuzhuber.

"So basically what could happen is that you could have a product that is basically barbecuing you because there is no upper limit which controls that."

The EC added that although the UV-B radiation used by tanning machines is known to be dangerous, there have been no long-term studies of the health-risks of the machines.

Sun-beds have only been in common use since the early 1990s, while skin cancer can take many years to develop. Cancer Research UK has called for further research into their long-term effects on health.

As many as 100 people in the UK could die every year from radiation linked to tanning machines.

Find out more about UV radiation and cancer