Sunbed Safety Advice

Question: Is sunbed use dangerous?

Answer: Sunbeds offer health benefits as well as some health hazards if not used sensibly. Before hiring a sunbed please take some time to read the information below.


The four main elements we rely on for our lives and wellbeing are air, water, earth and sunlight. If we take any of these forces away, then quite simply, we would not exist! There would be no life without the sun – but life with too much sun may not be good either.

Safer Tanning 0.3 Compliant Lamps

 

So, what is the 0.3 sunbed lamp all about?
  The new 0.3 law  means from 25 cm a  sunbed should not exceed the UVB pressure levels of that of the midday sun in the Mediterranean which happens to be 0.3 watts/m2 . The bottom line is, it is the LAW, its regarded as the safest option with lower melanoma risk  and all sunbed companies must comply .  How does it effect the performance and tanning ? Firstly, tanning is a 2 part process the UVB produces the melanin (but also burns). The UVA turns melanin brown (but does not burn ). So removing 70% of the UVB and pushing up the UVA means that the tanning takes a day or so longer to “kick in” and also you also need slightly longer sessions to achieve this (10-12 min). The good news is that it is much harder to burn and the end result is actually superior. The tan is in fact darker, deeper, longer lasting and looks more natural and the skin does not tend to dry out or itch.  Also, 0.3 gives better results for tanning legs , which has always been a problem with home tanning.  People must now understand that going red is not an indication that a sunbed is working. If your local salon is burning you after 6min  or 9min then the chances are they are using non – compliant lamps and are breaking the law

..Any Questions ? Please ask. Call :07714 898180

 

 

Ultraviolet Rays

UVC, UVB and UVA – are emitted by the sun. UVC rays, the most dangerous to the human system, are filtered out by the upper atmosphere but some UVB (which can cause sunburn and eye damage) and UVA, reach the earth”s surface. The intensity depends on the angle of the sun – ie the geographical position, season and time of day. UV levels can increase by up to 50% between 11am and 1pm!

UV is invisible. People outdoors are exposed to varying levels of UV and they are often unaware of the UV intensity. Unfortunately, warnings of sunburn often come too late. A survey in Denmark revealed that beach sunbathers exposed themselves for an average of three-and-a-half hours a day.

Sunbed lamps simulate the sun and emit UVA and UVB but they go a stage further and control the output with a balance of UV to minimise the risk of burning and maximise the tanning. As we know – no-one controls the sun! Sunbed lamp technology is subject to on-going research and development programmes to keep abreast of researched evidence on the effects of UV.

Sunbed Exceptions

Most people are able to use a sunbed but there are exceptions. If you answer YES to any of the questions below, you must NOT use a sunbed:

  • Are you aged under 18?
  • Do you always burn in natural sunlight?
  • Do you have a medical condition that becomes worse in sunlight?
  • Do you have an excessive amount of moles and/or freckles?
  • Do you have a history of sunburn, particularly from childhood?
  • Do you have skin cancer or does any member of your immediate family have/had skin cancer?

Also, if you are on any medication or drugs, please check with your GP or pharmacist before using a sunbed as certain drugs make the skin more sensitive to UV light. If you are pregnant, consult your GP before use.

How The Skin Tans

 

Our natural skin colour is determined by skin pigment – melanin – and the presence and amount of melanin in an individual is determined by hereditary factors.
When our skin is exposed to UV, cells deep in our skin – called melanocytes – initiate a process where more melanin is produced. This subsequently ‘browns’ as it rises to the skin’s surface producing a tan. UV also causes the outer layer of the skin to thicken. This is the body’s way of building up protection to UV and to avoid burning.
People will react differently to UV rays – darker skinned people produce melanin more readily. The skin of some very fair people contains very little melanin and, even when exposed to UV, they cannot form melanin, so they will not tan in sunlight or on a sunbed.
If the natural tanning process is rushed, sunburn will result. Our skin has a natural repair mechanism but if this is triggered off too frequently, it may become exhausted and result in permanent damage to the skin.

check your skin type

1) Very Fair

Usually lots of freckles, red or sandy hair; blue or grey eyes

High burn risk; skin turns red and peels. Advised not to tan in sunlight. DO NOT use a sunbed

2) Fair

Possibly with freckles; blond to brown hair; blue, green and grey eyes

High burn risk. Great care should be taken in tanning. Tanning tends to be light

3) Fair to light brown

No freckles; dark blond or brown hair, grey or green eyes

Medium risk of burning. Capable of building up a moderate tan

4) Light brown

Dark brown hair and eyes

Burning is rare; tanning is rapid and deep. See additional note below

5) Deep brown skin

Dark hair and eyes

Burning is seldom; tanning is rapid and deep. This type of skin has its own natural protection. See additional note below

6) Very dark skin

Black hair and dark eyes

Never burns in natural sunlight. See additional note below

Skin Types 4, 5 and 6

Note: These skin types need to exercise precaution on initial exposure. Initial exposure should also be moderate. This particularly applies if living in the UK as natural skin protection factor is depleted through lack of regular exposure to sunshine.

Any further questions please do not hestitate to contact us .

01670 356361 or 0191 2512931

HOW THE SKIN TANS

Our natural skin colour is determined by skin pigment – melanin – and the presence and amount of melanin in an individual is determined by hereditary factors.
When our skin is exposed to UV, cells deep in our skin – called melanocytes – initiate a process where more melanin is produced. This subsequently ‘browns’ as it rises to the skin’s surface producing a tan. UV also causes the outer layer of the skin to thicken. This is the body’s way of building up protection to UV and to avoid burning.
People will react differently to UV rays – darker skinned people produce melanin more readily. The skin of some very fair people contains very little melanin and, even when exposed to UV, they cannot form melanin, so they will not tan in sunlight or on a sunbed.
If the natural tanning process is rushed, sunburn will result. Our skin has a natural repair mechanism but if this is triggered off too frequently, it may become exhausted and result in permanent damage to the skin.

Useful Links

Health & Safety Executive

Sunbeds

http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg209.pdf

Spas

http://www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1200471667418

For and Against tanning – a balanced view

http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/hottopics/sunshine/index.shtml

Information about sensible tanning in a controlled environment

http://www.tanningtruth.com/

http://www.healthresearchforum.org.uk/sunlight.html

Information on the risks of skin cancer

http://www.skincancer.org/index.php

http://www.who.int/uv/publications/sunbedpubl/en/

http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_information/html/health_news/300903sunbed.html

Vitamin D- Did You Know…?
Vitamin D is essential for good health.
Medical studies around the world have proven the benefits of Vitamin D in association with:

  • Cellular Health: including breast, colon and prostate cancers
  • Bone Health: including osteoporosis, hip fractures, osteomalacia and hip fractures
  • Organ Health: including high blood pressure, hypertension and heart disease
  • Mental Health: including SAD, PMS, depression and general mood
  • Auto-immune Diseases: including multiple sclerosis, Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Skin Disorders: including psoriasis
  • Obesity and exercise programmes

Sunlight is the most effective way for the body to manufacture Vitamin D. Yet in the UK, our bodies can only manufacture Vitamin D from exposure to the sun during the months of May to October. Outside of these months, the sun is simply not strong enough.
Considered by many to be the foremost authority on vitamin D, Dr Michael Holick (Professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at the Boston University School of Medicine, one of the USA”s top universities), recommends a daily amount of 1,000 IU is necessary to maintain a healthy level. It is very difficult to eat enough Vitamin D rich foods on a daily basis to achieve these levels. Most multi-vitamin supplements only provide 400IU of Vitamin D.
Unprotected UV exposure to 25% of 1 MED, 2-3 times a week is recommended by Dr Holick to ensure sufficient Vitamin D levels. Depending on skin type, this is the equivalent of about 5 minutes of unprotected UV exposure 2-3 times a week.
In natural sunlight the word ”unprotected” is very important, as SPF creams reduce the effectiveness of the body to produce Vitamin D from UV exposure by up to 97%.
MYTH: UNPROTECTED SUN EXPOSURE IS UNHEALTHY
TRUTH: Although precautions do need to be taken, regular, moderate amounts of unprotected UV exposure are absolutely necessary for good health. Independent scientific research has shown that whether you live in a sunny or not-so-sunny climate, but expose yourself to sun, then your subsequent increased production of vitamin D will help lower the risk of a host of debilitating and fatal diseases including colon, breast, prostate and ovarian cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and depression.

MYTH: YOU CAN GET THE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF VITAMIN D THAT YOU NEED FROM DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS ALONE
TRUTH: Since most multivitamins only contain 400 IU of vitamin D, you need to take two and a half a day to get the recommended daily dose of 1000 IU, thereby exposing your body to an overload of vitamin A, which in excessive amounts, has been associated with birth defects and osteoporosis. Vitamin D supplements provide the same benefits as sunshine but if taken in too large a dose, can cause vitamin D toxicity, whereas sun exposure does not.

MYTH: YOU PRODUCE VITAMIN D IN THE WINTER TIME
TRUTH: You cannot make vitamin D in the UK or any location above 40 degrees north in the winter months. However, if you get moderate exposure to the sun between May and October, the excess vitamin D is stored in the body”s fat, which can be released during the winter.

MYTH: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A ”SAFE” TAN
TRUTH: Tanned skin protects you against sunburn, thought to be the main cause of melanoma. If you avoid getting sunburned, the benefits of moderate sun exposure will far outweigh the possible dangers.

MYTH: MELANOMA IS DIRECTLY ASSOCIATED WITH UV EXPOSURE
TRUTH: There is no credible scientific evidence that regular, moderate sun exposure causes melanoma. Melanoma is seen more often in people who do not receive this type of exposure than in those who spend time in the sun. Melanomas also usually occur on parts of the body that receive little or no UV exposure. This suggests that genetics plays a much more important role in the development of melanoma than does regular, moderate UV exposure.

MYTH: SUNBEDS ARE FOR TANNING ONLY
TRUTH: If you don”t have the opportunity to go out in the sun or prefer a more private and controlled environment, indoor tanning facilities represent a viable alternative to natural sunshine for stimulating your production of vitamin D. However, it is important to remember that the radiation that you are exposed to in an indoor tanning facility is the same as what you get from the sun. That means you need to take the same precautions that you would if you were in natural sunlight.

MYTH: THE ELDERLY DON”T NEED AS MUCH UV EXPOSURE AS THE YOUNG
TRUTH: Your ability to manufacture vitamin D diminishes fourfold from age twenty to age seventy. Older people are especially receptive to the alarmist warnings about excessive sun exposure and often decrease their exposure at a time when they need it most. Since vitamin D is directly linked to bone health, this age group should be more concerned about fracturing a hip because they are vitamin D deficient, than the risk of getting wrinkles or skin cancer.

ARE YOU MORE AT RISK FROM VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY?
Age: The older you are, the harder it is for your skin to make vitamin D from sunlight.
Lifestyle: The more time you spend indoors during daylight hours, the less opportunity you have to make vitamin D.
Geographical Location: In the UK with its relatively long winters, you get less sun over the course of the year because the sunlight isn”t strong enough to make vitamin D in the winter.
Race: People with very dark skin, especially those of Asian and Afro-Caribbean descent find it difficult to make vitamin D from limited sunlight.

HSE UV TANNING EQUIPMENT

IMPORTANT WARNING HSE GUIDELINES ON SUNBED USE

There are health risks associated with using ultraviolet (UV) tanning equipment. Skin cancer, cataracts, premature ageing of the skin, sunburnt skin, dryness and itching, bumpy rashes, and eye irritation/conjunctivitis. Any exposure to UV radiation from tanning equipment is potentially harmful. Please consider the following information when deciding whether to use this equipment or not. Don’t use UV tanning equipment if your skin is particularly sensitive to sunlight. Based on World Health Organization (WHO) and Department of Health advice, you should not use UV tanning equipment if you:

  • have fair, sensitive skin that burns easily or tans slowly or poorly;
  • have a history of sunburn, particularly in childhood;
  • have a large number of freckles and/or red hair;
  • have a large number of moles;
  • are taking medicines or using creams that sensitise the skin to sunlight;
  • have a medical condition that is worsened by sunlight;
  • or anyone in your family has had skin cancer in the past;
  • already have extensive skin damage due to sunlight.
  • The Sunbeds (Regulation) Act, effective from April 2011, makes it illegal for you to use UV tanning equipment if you are under 18

The International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) has recommended not to use UV tanning equipment for non-medical purposes.

Know your skin

Skin is broadly classified as being one of six types:

Type I – Often burns, rarely tans. Tends to have freckles, red or fair hair, blue or green eyes.
Type II – Usually burns, sometimes tans. Tends to have light hair, blue or brown eyes.
Type III – Sometimes burns, usually tans. Tends to have brown hair and eyes.
Type IV – Rarely burns, often tans. Tends to have dark brown eyes and hair.
Type V – Naturally brown skin. Often has brown eyes and hair.
Type VI – Naturally brown/black skin. Usually black/brown eyes.

Your UV tanning equipment operator should advise you on your skin type and guide you on how many minutes you should limit your session to. The EU Scientific Committee on Consumer Products states that people with skin types I and II should not be advised to use UV tanning equipment. If you have skin types III, IV, V or VI your operator should guide you on how many minutes to limit your session to.

Important points for you, the customer, to consider before you decide to use UV tanning equipment

Skin cancer. 
In the UK, the incidence of malignant melanoma is increasing at a faster rate than any other cancer except prostate. Using UV tanning equipment when young, increases the risk of suffering from skin cancer in the future. Premature ageing of the skin. In the longer term, too much use of UV tanning equipment will make your skin look coarse, leathery and wrinkled.

Sunburnt skin.
Spending too long on UV tanning equipment can cause your skin to become painful and red, and it may blister and peel. Burning the skin from UV exposure can double your risk of skin cancer in the future.

Protect your eyes.
Never use the UV tanning equipment without eye protection. If suitable goggles are not worn you may suffer eye irritation or conjunctivitis in the short term, and cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) in the long term. Do not rely on closing your eyes or using cotton wool. Don’t use cosmetics, deodorants or accelerants while tanning. Wash off any such products on your skin before using the equipment and make sure the equipment is clean before using it.

General health.
Make sure you are medically fit to use the UV tanning equipment, and that you are not taking any medication, including alternative medicine and therapies, that could increase the sensitivity of your skin. Some conditions can make you more vulnerable to sunburn.

Skin type.
Tell staff about your normal reaction to sunlight so they can advise you whether to use the equipment and if so for how long you can do so without burning (remember, using UV tanning equipment carries health risks even if you do not burn). See Know your skin for further information.

Check your skin.
If you notice any abnormal skin reactions during the tanning session stop exposure at once and do not use UV tanning equipment again before seeing a doctor. If you notice any abnormal skin reactions after the tanning session do not use again before seeing a doctor. Seek medical advice promptly if you notice an unusual skin growth or a change in the size, shape or colour of a mole that occurs over weeks or months.

Stay safe.
Make sure you understand how to use the equipment, how to turn it off and to locate the emergency button (or call for help if there is no button).

Protect you skin in the sun.
A tan obtained from UV tanning equipment provides very little protection against sunlight. Always protect your skin from excessive exposure to the sun.

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