Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

My Girl's Love of Sunbeds Came at a Terrible Cost - Her Life; Mum Calls for a Ban as Death Toll Is Revealed

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

My Girl's Love of Sunbeds Came at a Terrible Cost - Her Life; Mum Calls for a Ban as Death Toll Is Revealed

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Loraine

ANORTHUMBERLAND mum who lost her daughter to skin cancer has called for a complete ban on sunbeds in the light of a hard-hitting report.

The study, by the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (Comare), said at least 100 people are killed by sunbeds each year in the UK and many hundreds more suffer malignant cancers or disfiguring injuries.

Members of the radiation watchdog called for all sunbed operators to be legally registered, licensed and inspected by local authorities.

They also stressed the need to safeguard children and teenagers, urging a total ban on unsupervised or coin-operated sunbeds, a legal lower age limit of 18 on anyone using a tanning salon, and the sale or hire of tanning equipment to under-18s to be outlawed.

Anne Johnson, 65, lost her daughter Emma to skin cancer in 1998.

Emma was just 22 when she found an enlarged mole and was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. After two years of operations, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, Emma died at the age of 25.

Anne, from Ashington, said: "Emma used sunbeds when she was over in Germany and she came back looking fantastic.

"But she paid a high price - she lost her life for it.

"There should be huge warnings on them, not just for children but for parents as well.

"I would ban them entirely, there's so many lotions and other ways of getting a tan - I just don't think it's a good thing." Public Health Minister Gillian Merron hinted that the Government might be prepared to act to prevent children being put at risk.

She said: "Sunbeds can be dangerous. We must ensure that people who use them do so safely. If necessary we will look at new laws to protect young people." As well as burning, radiation from sunbeds is known to damage DNA, leading to premature ageing and an increased chance of developing skin cancer. …

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