§ Mr. Rosindell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with the British Medical Association regarding health risks associated with the use of sunbeds; and if he will make a statement on health risks associated with the use of sunbeds. 
§ Ms Blears
No discussions have taken place with the British Medical Association regarding health risks associated with the use of sunbeds.
Available evidence suggests that it is likely that ultra violet radiation (UV) exposure from sunbeds will contribute to the risk of adverse health effects, particularly skin cancers (and cataracts, if protective eyewear is not worn) and that certain groups of people will be at an increased level of risk.112W
The report from the National Radiological Protection Boards Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR): Health Effects of Ultra Violet Radiation, published in January 2002 (ISBN: 0–85951–474–7), recommended that the use of sunbeds and sunlamps for cosmetic tanning should be discouraged. This only applies to cosmetic tanning and not to the use of sunbeds and sunlamps as part of medical treatment, where the benefits and potential risks need to be assessed in a clinical context.
The International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protections report, published in February 2003, concluded, any use of suntanning appliances is likely to raise the risk of skin cancer. It recommended against the use of W-emitting appliances for tanning or other non-medical purposes and set out the groups of people who should not use sunbeds. The report concludes that there is no conclusive direct evidence that sunbed exposure causes skin cancer.
For those people who choose to use cosmetic tanning equipment, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) advise in its leaflet Controlling Health Risks From The Use of UV Tanning Equipment (IND (G) 20910195) that it is best not to exceed 20 sessions per year and that certain groups of people are advised not to use tanning equipment.
No sufficient conclusive direct evidence is available at present to justify a ban on the use of UV sunbeds.