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27th Feb 2024

‘An alarming number of people are still using sunbeds, despite the known risks’

Kat O'Connor

There have been calls to ban sunbeds in Ireland as cases of skin cancer continue to rise at an alarming rate.

Professor Caitriona Balfe spoke to Newstalk about the alarming number of people who are still using sunbeds, despite the risks associated with them.

She explained that using a sun bed once can increase your risk of skin cancer by 60%.

The shocking figure should be enough to stop people from using them, but they remain popular.

Professor Balfe said they should be banned outright in Ireland.

She told Newstalk Breakfast: “We don’t want anyone to be out sunbathing either and burning their skin, but a tanning bed is a much more serious source of UVA.

“I think people often think that using a tanning bed is very similar to going out and sunbathing,” she explained.

Professor Balfe said they’re seeing an exponential rise in the disease in younger people, but why is it proving so hard to ban sunbeds?

“It’s a disease of younger people and we’ve seen an exponential rise in it,” Balfe said.

“We really think it’s because of the huge amount of sunbed use that went on in the ’80s and ’90s. We see a huge, impact of that now,” she explained.

The damage has already been done for so many, but banning sunbeds in Ireland would protect so many people and lower the rate of skin cancer on this small island.

Skin cancer is currently the most common cause of cancer so why isn’t the Government doing more to ban something that is causing those cancer rates to rise?