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Cancer Expert Backs Harney's Sun Bed Ban

 

Updated : Aug 26, 2009

The country’s cancer tsar today backed Health Minister Mary Harney’s call for a blanket ban on sunbeds.

National Director of Cancer Control Professor Tom Keane said tough new laws and education were needed to tackle the nation’s love of tanning shops.

At the Livestrong cancer summit in Dublin Ms Harney revealed she has asked health officials to explore the possibility of completely outlawing the industry.

The influential Prof Keane has now thrown his weight behind the radical move.

“It is a lifestyle issue. Like many other behaviours, Government can only play a part through legislation,” he said.

“A big part of this is around education – educating parents and educating the public that lying under a sun-tan machine and potentially getting excessive exposure is simply not healthy.”

The professor said there is clear evidence that sunbeds could cause skin cancer, noting a recent research paper which classified them as a category one carcinogen.

“If that was a drug or a substance that was in food, there would be a massive clamour out there for it to be banned,” he said.

Prof Keane backed the minister’s call at the three-day global cancer summit organised by cyclist Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation.

 

 

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