Manchester sunbed scandal: Most tanning salons in city fail safety tests – as cancer risk soars

Tanning enthusiasts are being put at greater risk of contracting skin cancer after more than three quarter of sunbeds in Manchester displayed dangerous ultra violet levels when tested.

Manchester City Council’s trading standards department tested 115 sunbeds at 29 premises across the city and found that exceeded the maximum safe output, a failure rate of 77%.

Tanning salons, as well as gyms, leisure centres and hotels are now legally obliged to make sure their sunbeds are reduced to a safe level of UV light after concerns abut the rising number of cases of skin cancer.

Despite being given written warning about the inspections, 89 of the sunbeds tested exceeded this maximum safety output that Europeans are capable of dealing with.

Officials have now warned businesses they need to set their sunbeds at safer levels or face prosecution and fines of up to £20,000.

Manchester City Council’s deputy leader, Councillor Bernard Priest explained that anyone who was looking at using sunbeds before their holidays should be extremely alarmed by the results of these tests.

“People across the city may be getting ready for foreign holidays, and will often start visiting tanning salons to get themselves ready for the beach,” he said.

“However anyone planning to do this should be very concerned by these findings, which reinforce the message that anyone visiting tanning salons should do so with care as they’re potentially exposing themselves to dangerous levels of UV light.”

People who regularly use sunbeds, even those that comply with safe levels, put themselves at a much higher risk of contracting Malignant melanoma because of the harmful UV rays.

Malignant melanoma is the second most common form of cancer among 15-24 year olds in the UK, and is also the most dangerous form of skin cancer.

The rates of the disease are now five times higher than they were in the 1970s.

Image courtesy of Evile Erin, with thanks.

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