Sun-beds – no safe limit for UVR exposure

The final Opinion on the biological effects of ultraviolet radiation relevant to health with particular reference to sunbeds for cosmetic purposes has been published by the European Commission and its Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER).

Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR), including that emitted by sunbeds, is considered a complete carcinogen, in that it can initiate and promote cancer. Based on the available scientific evidence, the SCHEER concludes that exposure to UVR in the context of sunbed use is:

  • strongly associated with skin melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma, especially when first exposure takes place at a younger age;
  • moderately associated with basal cell carcinoma and ocular melanoma;
  • responsible for a significant proportion of both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer cases associated with early onset melanoma.

As there is no threshold level of UV-irradiance and UV–dose for the induction of skin cancer, the SCHEER concludes that there is no safe limit for exposure to UVR from sunbeds.

Furthermore, as the risks outweigh the benefits, there is no need to use sunbeds to induce vitamin D production.

Read the full opinion on the Health Risks of Sunbeds on the ec.europa.eu website