Tanning salon advice after undercover exercise

image of a sun bed

Last year a warning was issued to sunbed salons in Wigan Borough after an undercover exercise found children were illegally being allowed to use the facilities.

When Wigan Council’s Trading Standards team carried out the exercise it showed five out of 12 shops allowed a child to use the sunbed without asking for proof of age.

A 15 and 16 year old were used in the undercover exercise over the summer holidays.

The operation will be repeated again this year, and businesses are being advised to ensure they are complying with the law.

It is a criminal offence to offer or allow a person under the age of 18 to use a sunbed.

Trading Standards are encouraging sunbed businesses in the borough to operate a ‘Challenge 25’ age verification policy.

Cllr Carl Sweeney, cabinet member for environment at Wigan Council, said: “It is extremely important that sunbed salon owners are vigilant when allowing members of the public to use their sunbeds.

“We want to remind operators of their legal responsibilities so they can help to protect our children and young people.

“If you are a sunbed salon owner and are unsure of your responsibilities please get in touch with our trading standards team for more information.”

Our Public Health team have warned young people of the dangers of regularly using sunbeds.

Professor Kate Ardern, the borough’s Director for Public Health, said: “Sunbeds give out ultraviolet (UV) rays that increase your risk of developing skin cancer later in life.

“However the risks are greater for young people with evidence showing that people who are frequently exposed to UV rays before the age of 25 are at greater risk. While a tan can fade quickly, the long term damage is irreversible.

“We would encourage young people to use safer alternatives such as tanning creams or spray tans.”

If any salon owner in Wigan Borough would like information on the law relating to the use of sunbeds by under 18s, they should contact Trading Standards on 01942 827476 or email [email protected].