Cancer charity wants stricter rules for sunbed salons

Portrait of health minister Hugo de Jonge
The coronavirus crisis has raised Hugo de Jonge's profile. Photo: Health Ministry
The bronzed features of Hugo de Jonge Photo: Health Ministry

Cancer charity KWF says people are putting themselves at risk as research shows one in five occasionally use sunbeds, public broadcaster NOS reported on Wednesday.

The charity, supported by dermatologists, want health minister Hugo de Jonge (who himself admitted to the frequent use of a sunbed) to impose a number of measures. Sunbed salons must be made to display a health warning and there should be a ban on promoting positive effects of sunbeds.

The organisations also wants better monitoring of salons to see it they are complying with the minimum age for clients which is 18 or over, NOS writes.

According to dermatologist Annebeth Flinterman many more young people are suffering from skin cancer. ‘There are studies that show that if you use sunbeds at an early age your chances of developing a melanoma increases by 75%,’ she told the broadcaster.

There are some 600 sunbed salons in the Netherlands and 1,500 sunbeds in places like fitness centres and hairdressers.

‘The KWF is focusing on the sunbeds and that is very annoying,’ Huib van Geest of the association of sunbed studios told the broadcaster. ‘There is no scientific report that says that using a sunbeds is more harmful than being out in the sun. And if you want to overdose inside or out is your own business. People have a choice,’ NOS quotes him as saying.

The argument that sunbeds stimulate the production of vitamin D is ‘nonsense,’ according to Flinterman. ’A 15 minute walk in the open air is enough,’ she told NOS.

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