Illegal sunbeds with dangerously high levels of UV rays have been found at more than half of Sheffield tanning salons tested in a council safety crackdown.
Two sunbeds were an ‘astonishing’ four times above the recommended European safety level set to protect people from rays which can potentially lead to premature ageing and skin cancer.
Now 20 of the 39 salons visited so far have been given notices to improve and must replace all their substandard sunbed tanning tubes before they are inspected again – or face possible prosecutions.
Coun Jayne Dunn, council cabinet member for environment and a beauty salon owner, said: “It’s astonishing that two were four times above the recommended safety level, but thankfully this was just a small percentage of the ones tested.
“Of course it’s important these salons are compliant with the relevant legislation, but our main aim is to ensure people are not putting themselves at greater risk of skin cancer.”
She added: “We take the health and safety of everyone using tanning salons in Sheffield incredibly seriously and our health and safety enforcement officers do all they can to protect people from their potential harmful effects by ensuring salon owners comply with safety standards and regulations.
“As people are starting to look forward to their Easter and summer breaks away and may start to use sunbeds more often, we wanted to warn people about the dangers of using unsafe sunbeds now so they can start to look out for the appropriate stamp of approval in salons.”
Officers tested more than 100 sunbeds – and have another 19 salons to visit, with advance notice and advice given to owners.
Sunbeds should emit levels no more powerful than the Mediterranean midday sun.
Sharron Naseby’s salon, 2 Ways 2 Tan on High Street, Mosborough, which passed the safety tests with flying colours, said: “Safety checks like these are incredibly important because people don’t often realise how dangerous sunbeds can be if they are in the wrong hands.
“The industry needs this regulation to help keep people safe and to prevent them getting burnt or, even worse, skin cancer.”
Sharron said the salon took account of customer’s skin types and people should not have more than 32 tanning sessions a year.
She added: “I have been going on sunbeds since I was 16 when it was legal to go on them so young then. I’ve made mistakes and burnt myself because the salon owner didn’t advise me.
“Now I’m in the industry myself I feel really passionately about protecting people who use sunbeds and helping them stay safe and healthy.”