Cork South West TD Calls for Immediate Ban on Tanning Beds

Published on: 02 July 2024

Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West Christopher O’Sullivan has called for an outright ban on tanning beds, citing significant health risks and the urgent need for stronger enforcement against unregulated tanning products.
"The evidence is overwhelming. UV exposure from sunbeds is a major health hazard, contributing to skin cancer and other serious conditions,” Deputy O’Sullivan said.
“We cannot afford to ignore the science any longer—tanning beds must be banned outright.
“Australia took the step in 2016 to ban commercial banning beds and it is long past time we followed suit.”
Recent findings reveal a worrying trend: almost half of those surveyed have used sunbeds despite knowing the risks to their skin. These trends are contributing to skin cancer being the most common cancer in Ireland, with over 11,000 cases diagnosed annually.
The call for a ban coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Public Health (Sunbeds) Act 2014. Despite this legislation, the use of unregulated tanning products and misleading social media advertising continues to pose a significant threats to public health.
Deputy O’Sullivan, who raised the matter during Taoiseach's Questions in the Dáil on Tuesday, also stressed the importance of addressing the rampant advertising of harmful, unregulated tanning products on social media platforms. 
"It is unacceptable that dangerous products are being marketed to young people online. We need to double down on enforcing regulations and shutting down these illegal activities," he said.
“Banning sunbeds and cracking down on sham tanning products are critical steps to prevent further harm.
“We must prioritise health and safety." 
Taoiseach Simon Harris, in response, said he agreed with Deputy O'Sullivan about the dangers of sunbeds.
"They are dangerous. From a skin cancer point of view the evidence is pretty categoric," he said. "I do know measures were taken in relation to banning [them] for children but in my view that is nowhere near adequate in terms of where we need to get to. But let me seek the view of the Minister for Health." 
He added that he would be supportive of taking more action.