It’s an industry that causes cancer and flouts the rules. Should we close it down?

Yes, says Simon Chapman, Professor of Public Health at the University of Sydney. You can read his argument against solaria below and, if you agree, there’s a petition you might like to sign.

He writes:

“Recent studies have found individuals who have used solaria have a 22% increased risk of developing melanoma compared with those who have never used solaria. The risk is elevated by 98% among people who first used solaria under the age of 35 years.

Following publicity over the death from melanoma of Clare Oliver in 2007, Australian governments  introduced state-based regulations to change compliance with the Australian Standard, AS/NZS 2635:2008 Solaria for cosmetic purposes from voluntary to mandatory. Studies undertaken in 2003 and 2006 indicated that industry compliance with the previous voluntary standard was low.

Two audits of all solaria in metropolitan Sydney conducted in 2009 and again in 2010 found 87/89 (98% in 2009) establishments were non-compliant with the regulations with 41/73 (42%) being non-compliant at the  follow-up survey.  No data are available on non-metropolitan compliance or from other states.

See: http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/radiation/09814solicarus.pdf and http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/radiation/10310solaurora.pdf

These data demonstrate that the solaria industry has many operators who daily disregard the law, despite repeated publicity and warnings.

Clare Oliver’s dying wish is being violated daily by this travesty.

In 2006, 10684 Australians were diagnosed with melanoma — 3870 were under 60, and 2044 were under 40. In all, 1238 died, 335 aged under 60.

Solaria expose people to turbocharged UV doses that have no place in any community that takes cancer prevention seriously.

The solaria industry is a tiny industry where its operators have other alternatives, such as spray tans. It is time the curtain fell on this deadly industry.

Please sign the petition here.

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Peter Fray
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