The State Government plans to ban commercial sun beds from January 1 next year, a move that would make WA the last State to outlaw them.
A spokeswoman for Health Minister Kim Hames said today that while solaria operators had until February 28 to argue why they should not be closed down, plans were being made to have a ban in place by the end of the year.
The Government has come under mounting pressure in the past year to introduce legislation, amid concerns WA could become a dumping ground for equipment or become the home of a “solarium tourism industry.”
Last October, the Queensland government moved to outlaw sun beds, joining New South Wales, Victoria, SA, Tasmania and the ACT which regulate or ban their use.
The spokeswoman said the WA Health Department was still consulting with operators about the proposed potential ban.
“Letters have recently been sent to the 28 operators who hold solaria regulations under the Radiation Safety Act,” she said.
“They have been asked to put forward any reasons why a ban should not come into effect in WA from January 1 2015, as it will in most other Australian jurisdictions.”
Tanning beds have been increasingly linked to skin cancer. New research due out tomorrow will provide the latest estimates of the number of skin cancers caused by indoor tanning in Australia.
Cancer Council WA director of education and research Terry Slevin welcomed the Government’s plan to shut down commercial sun bed operation but warned against it being swayed by any arguments from the industry opposing a ban.