Sunbeds should be banned

Last updated: March 3, 2017

7% of the population frequently use sunbeds to top up their tans. This is hardly surprising, as the British sun cannot be relied on, fewer people are taking holidays abroad and celebrities continue to sport an envious sunkissed look. Yet, new research tells us that sunbeds do increase the risk of skin cancer and it is as dangerous as exposure to asbestos. Should sunbeds be banned in an attempt to protect its users?

Sunbeds should be banned
Yes because...

New research

Around 65,000 cases of skin cancer are reported in the UK each year, with 2,000 proving fatal. Most cases are linked to sunburn or prolonged exposure to the sun and it is believed that sunbeds play a role too. The new research indicates there is now ‘no doubt’ that exposure to sunbeds increases the risk of skin cancer.[[http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_information/html/health_news/300903sunbed.html]] The new assessment puts sunbed use on par with smoking or exposure to asbestos. But these terrifying facts are not enough to put off the sunworshippers, who will risk skin cancer for a summer glow. Surely, it is our duty to ban sunbeds and deter the vulnerable and the young from increasing their risk of getting skin cancer.
No because...
It is very difficult to prove that sunbeds are the sole cause of the increased risk of skin cancer. This is because those who are having sunbeds are also being exposed to the sun itself, so it is difficult to prove. Additionally, three million people use sunbeds every year in the UK, so the odds are small.[[http://www.sunbedassociation.org.uk/]] Every time a new report is released, there is always an element of doubt and until it can be certainly proved, there is no need to ban sunbeds at all.

Sunbeds should be banned
Yes because...

Alternatives

There is absolutely no need for sunbeds with all these new, safe and effective alternatives that are now available. Those looking for a sun-kissed tan can purchase a luxurious tanning treatment and have someone else apply the tan or buy it cheaply and do a ‘DIY job’. Both of these options are completely safe, completely effective and now all the companies in the market are competing with each other for the most natural, long-lasting colour, the consumer has so many alternatives available that they need not choose the most dangerous tan. Using sunbeds is time-consuming, dangerous and can be pricey, depending on the strength and frequency of the bed.
No because...
These treatments can be expensive. The most natural and lasting treatment at a beauty salon can cost a great deal of money and only last two weeks at the most. A sunbed guarantees a natural tan and minimal effort; as opposed to the DIY job: exfoliating; covering yourself in a smelly lotion and scrubbing at your orange hands afterwards. No wonder people continue to use sunbeds. Whilst the market cannot provide a cost-effective and minimal effort tan, consumers will continue to put their health at risk.

Sunbeds should be banned
Yes because...

Under-age ‘tanorexics’

Sunbeds should be banned to protect the teenagers who continue to use sunbeds and risk skin cancer. These girls (and boys) are young, vulnerable and do not know or completely understand the danger of using these beds. Whilst fourteen and fifteen-year-old girls are still sneaking in the salons to use beds, they have little knowledge of what they are doing to their skin. Sunbeds are adapted to mimic the sun’s rays and often to intensify it. Users get a mix of UVA and UVB rays, which can lead to all types of skin cancer and, in half an hour on a sunbed, you get far more exposure than spending the same amount of time in the sun. Sunbeds should be banned to protect our teens.
No because...
Banning the beds is a complete extreme. Why should everyone pay for the misbehaviour of young people? Banning sunbeds is not the solution: more stringent rules should apply and identification should be produced.

Sunbeds should be banned
Yes because...

Unmanned salons are legal, yet deadly

Day after day, we hear and read about horror stories of kids who pop their pocket money into the sunbeds in unmanned salons and end up in hospital, burned and in agony. This is just the tip of the iceberg. These unmanned salons are still legal and very dangerous. The only way to protect everyone from dreadful cases of skin cancer is to ban sunbeds completely: they will thank the Government for it, in the end.
No because...
As with the previous argument this is an example of taking an argument against a specific part to a complete extreme. Maybe the government should introduce tougher regulations covering sunbeds such as strict supervision or an area where access is restricted or sunbeds have to have built in manual safety/ override mechanisms etc. The problem described does not give a licence for the government to ban sunbeds and deny people (with age restrictions) the right to expose themselves to legitimate personal risk.

Sunbeds should be banned
No because...

Over-exposure

The Sunbed Association assures its users that the risk of skin cancer is only a risk when you allow yourself to be ‘over-exposed’ to the sunbed and if you burn. 88% of the population in the UK have skin types that can successfully tan in a controlled environment.[[http://www.sunbedassociation.org.uk/didyouknow.php]] This then indicates that very few people can burn under the sunbed and therefore, fewer people are at risk. As long as the users are careful, there is no reason at all to go to the extreme of banning sunbeds.
Yes because...
Burning is a great deal easier than you think. If you are unused to the sun, have never used a bed before, have particularly fair skin or young skin, you are likely to get burnt. It is not a risk anybody should be taking.

Sunbeds should be banned
No because...

Cosmetic purposes

Open the pages of any magazine and you will be confronted with hundreds of celebrities: smiling, looking beautiful and truly happy and healthy… With a glowing tan. It doesn’t matter to the readers how that tan was achieved – many readers think the easiest way to achieve this look is by using a sunbed. Sunbeds are used for a cosmetic purpose: making the user feel happy and healthier. The majority of sunbed users are responsible and sensible and should not be denied their use of the beds for their enjoyment.
Yes because...
To risk your health for vanity is simply ridiculous, when a tan is unnecessary and other alternatives are readily available. A tan achieved by the sunbed will eventually make the user’s skin weathered and age prematurely. A sunbed is dangerous: it will only make you tanned temporarily, increases the risk of skin cancer and will make you look old, anyway.

Sunbeds should be banned
No because...

Loss of a business

Banning sunbeds will be a complete disaster for those whose livelihood is based on it. There are some business people who simply run chains of sunbed salons, who will lose their business if the beds are banned. This is not taking into consideration the number of jobs that will be lost.
Yes because...
In this difficult economic time, loss of jobs would be regrettable, but this is hardly comparable to the protection of the three million people in the UK who put their health at risk for a tan.

Sunbeds should be banned
No because...

A nanny-state

Banning sunbeds would be yet another example of the Government exercising its control over its constituents. We are told day-in, day-out to exercise more, not eat fatty foods, don’t drink alcohol, don’t smoke… The list goes on and on. Although we know that essentially these recommendations are for our own good, they are just a few of the things we enjoy. Can we not indulge in anything we enjoy anymore? Apparently not, without being told off by the powers that be! If sunbeds are just as dangerous as cigarettes, why not ban those as well? The Government can continue to ‘recommend’ us not to use sunbeds, but banning beds would be overstepping the mark.
Yes because...
The Government do not wish to control: sunbeds are killing us! Unfortunately, these people do not know any better and these beds should be banned in an effort to protect three million people a year from skin cancer.

Sunbeds should be banned
No because...

The sun can be good for you

The benefits of the sun are being overlooked. Sunshine is a natural source of vitamin D, which is essential for healthy teeth and bones. Some scientists believe that moderate sunbathing increases feelings of wellbeing by raising serotonin levels in the brain and it is easy to protect yourself against sunburn. The new research conveniently does not highlight the benefit of using sunbeds.
(1) http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/tanorexic-teenagers-face-sunbed-ban-469604.html
Yes because...
While the sun is beneficial for vitamin D without a doubt it is not acceptable to say sunbeds are useful for this reason. People can go outside in the sun responsibly by wearing high factor sun cream & a sunhat & still get their vitamin D without stepping foot into a sunbed!!! also vitamin D can be obtained by eggs & fish.


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Andrew Wallace

This subject is far too technical to be decided by Mrs Latham, who despite her lack of expertise, has made it something of a personal hobby horse. If this is so then the man in the street is even less qualified. These issues ought to be debated at the highest level between the various international experts.
In a decision that affects a whole industry and could have serious future effects upon the nation, in that an estimated 3 million people are able to do more (at their own expense) to maintain the required levels of vitD to stay healthy and thus reduce the demands upon the resources of the NHS. I can hear the cynics retort, yet it is very possible that if sunbeds do in fact deliver more good than harm for the majority, to get rid of them would be like throwing the baby out with the bath water.
In this country due to the unreliability of the sun and the difficulty obtaining adequate amounts of vitD it could be a huge mistake. On this point I would recommend the study of Pro Oliver Gillie’s paper on Sunlight Robbery. He alledges that the cost of treating otherwise avoidable diseases is bankrupting the NHS.