22 December 2014
New data released in the lead-up to the commercial solarium ban coming into force show that South Australians are ready to ditch the potentially deadly machines.
Cancer Council’s National Sun Protection Survey shows that the majority of South Australian adults (83 per cent) support the incoming ban on solariums, which will be in place in most states and territories by 1 January 2015.
The survey of participants also suggests that solarium use is now very low in the Australian population.
According to Cancer Council SA, Chief Executive, Professor Brenda Wilson, in 2013-14 only one per cent of adults in SA said they had used a solarium in the past year.
“It is encouraging to see that so many people reject using solariums and the retiring of commercial sunbeds is another important step forward,” Professor Wilson said.
“Studies have shown that those who use a solarium before the age of 35 have a 59 per cent greater risk of melanoma than those who do not.”
Only 10 per cent of South Australian adults reported having used a solarium in their lifetime.
Along with South Australia, bans of commercial sunbeds come into place in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, ACT and Queensland by 1 January 2015. Western
Australia has announced that they will also be banning sunbeds, although the date is yet to be announced. There are no commercial solariums currently operating in the Northern Territory.
The Cancer Council survey found that the majority of SA adults (63 per cent) were aware of the impending ban.
Professor Wilson said Australia had one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world and over 2000 Australians died of skin cancer each year.
“It’s great to see that so many South Australians recognise the potential dangers associated with solariums and support the incoming ban on their commercial use.
“Despite few South Australians using solariums these days, we will continue to see the impact decades into the future. Anyone who has used a solarium should keep a close eye on their skin, and head straight to the doctor if they notice changes.”
For cancer information and support, please call Cancer Council 13 11 20, Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 5:30pm.
About the National Sun Survey
The 2013-14 National Sun Protection Survey was conducted via phone over the summer of 2013-14. A total of 6349 Australians were interviewed, including 5288 adults aged 18 to 69 years and 1061 adolescents aged 12 to 17.
Conducted every three to four years by Cancer Council, the survey provides a perspective on changing trends in Australians’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours relevant to preventing skin cancer over the past decade.