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80% of tanning salons in breach of legal limits for cancer prevention

A survey of tanning salons in the North Tyneside has revealed that eight in ten have bulbs that are more powerful than the legal limit which is designed to reduce the risk of skin cancer for those who use tanning services, reports the Daily Mail.

North Tyneside Council commissioned inspections of all 26 licenced tanning salons in the council area in order to determine whether the beds were within the legal limits for tanning salon services.

The inspections found that eight out of ten salons visited were using bulbs that are beyond the legal limit of 0.3 watts per square metre.

The average bulb tested in North Tyneside had a strength of 0.49 watts per square metre, with the worst offender containing a 1.18 watt bulb, a whopping four times the legal limit.

All salons which were using bulbs above the legal limit have been asked by the council to replace the bulbs with safer ones.

A spokeswoman for Cancer Research UK said that powerful sunbeds were putting users at risk of skin cancer.

"Sunbeds that fail to meet the British and European standard are putting sunbed users at an even greater risk of skin cancer," she told the Mail.

"The UV radiation given off by sunbeds damages the DNA in your skin cells... Over time this DNA damage can build up and lead to skin cancer," she added.

The warnings from Cancer Research UK are supported by figures that suggested that the incidence of the most dangerous form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, is on the increase in the UK, with the number of diagnoses doubling within the last ten years.

A study by Cancer Research UK last year showed that using powerful sunbeds made a user six times more likely to contract skin cancer than someone who spent the same amount of time sunbathing in Mediterranean midday sun.