Don’t get burned by new sunbed regulations!

Now that spring is upon us, people are bound to start thinking about the summer and getting that much sought after tan.  Ireland’s unpredictable weather means that many will resort to fake tan and sunbeds to get that sun kissed glow.  For all those in the sunbed industry, here is the information you need to know;

  • The Public Health (Sunbeds) Act 2014 was signed into law on 24th June 2014 and now regulates the use of sunbeds. The Act has come into effect on a phased basis.  The first and most important phase related to the use of sunbeds by those under 18 years of age and commenced on 21st July 2014.
  • It is an offence to sell or hire a sunbed to any person under 18 years of age, allow a person under 18 to use a sunbed and allow a person under 18 to be in a restricted area in a sunbed premises unless in the course of employment.
  • The Public Health (Sunbeds) Act 2014 (Commencement) Order 2015 has brought certain further provisions of the Act into operation as and from 9th February and 2nd March 2015. Some important sections regulate the compulsory use of protective eye wear, prohibit a person under the age of 18 from supervising the use of a sunbed, forbid unsupervised use of sunbeds, impose hygiene requirements and forbid the publication of material which promotes health or other benefits from sunbeds.
  • Five separate regulations have been introduced by the Minister to supplement the legislation. The regulations also came into effect on 2nd March 2015;
  1. Public Health (Sunbeds) (Health Information) Regulations 2015 – These require information relating to the use of sunbeds and to their health effects to be provided by operators to all users of sunbeds. They also prescribe the form that must be signed by a person using a sunbed to confirm that they have been given a copy of the prescribed information.
  2. Public Health (Sunbeds) (Prohibition of Certain Marketing Practices) Regulations 2015 – These prohibit certain marketing practices such as happy hour or free sunbed time which might encourage excessive use of sunbeds.
  3. Public Health (Sunbeds) (Notification) Regulations 2015 – These provide that the HSE must be notified of the existence of a sunbed premises by the sunbed business owner and there is a notification fee of €120 in respect of each premises.
  4. Public Health (Sunbeds) (Warning Signs) Regulations 2015 – There is a requirement to display warning signs on sunbed premises and on any websites or social media sites which advertise sunbeds for sale. These regulations prescribe the form, content and manner of display of the warning signs.
  5. Public Health (Sunbeds) (Fixed Payment Notice) Regulations 2015 – Certain relevant offences under the 2014 Act attract a fixed payment notice in the sum of €300. The fixed payment notice and the amount of the payment for relevant offences are prescribed in these regulations.

The provisions of the legislation will be enforced by the environmental health officers of the HSE.  As skin cancer is the most common cause of cancer in Ireland, it is important for all sunbed operators to comply with the provisions of the legislation and regulations to protect young people and allow adults to make more informed decisions if using sunbeds.