MP proposes sunbed, laser restrictions

NZ Newswire November 15, 2012, 12:26 pm

Teenagers and people with fair skin could be banned from using sunbeds and laser hair or vein removal under new legislation.

National MP Paul Hutchison's Health Skin Cancer and Trauma Prevention Amendment Bill would introduce regulations on sunbeds and cosmetic lasers to "prevent avoidable harm".

Day spas, salons, clinics and any other premises offering "commercial operation of any solarium, laser device, or pulsed light device" would have to be registered with the Ministry of Health.

The ministry's director-general could set safety and quality criteria for their operation, including around record-keeping and training standards.

Dr Hutchison says the voluntary standard for sunbed use - including no usage for under 18-year-olds and exclusion of people with pale skin - has not been effective, while there are no regulations or standards around laser device and pulsed light devices.

That's despite New Zealand having the highest incidence of melanoma in the world, and increasing evidence that "avoidable trauma" is occurring when laser or light devices are operated by inadequately or untrained operators, Dr Hutchison says.

His bill will have to be drawn from parliament's ballot before it is debated.

The Cancer Society's health promotion manager Jan Pearson says the bill will help protect consumers - especially youth - from "unnecessary sunbed danger".

"Licensing and regulating the providers will give consumers some assurance that the service they are paying for has some safeguards," Dr Pearson said.

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