Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (689, 693)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

689. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Health if legislation will be implemented to regulate the use of sunbeds to assist in reducing the number of persons developing skin cancer; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32065/13]

View answer

Terence Flanagan

Question:

693. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Health his plans to introduce legislation regarding the regulation of sunbeds here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32140/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 689 and 693 together.

I can confirm that legislation will be implemented to regulate the use of sunbeds. This Bill has priority drafting and Officials of the Department are working closely with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel to complete the drafting of this legislation.

This legislation will prohibit the use of sunbeds on a sunbed premises by persons under 18 years of age and will also set out a comprehensive range of measures to promote a greater public awareness across all age groups of the dangers of developing skin cancer, premature ageing and eye damage from exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR). Key provisions in the Bill will include:-

(i) a prohibition on anyone under 18 years of age using a sunbed on a sunbed premises;

(ii) a prohibition on the sale to or hire of sunbeds to anyone under 18 years of age;

(iii) a prohibition on the unsupervised use of sunbeds in a sunbed premises;

(iv) an exemption for medical purposes;

(v) control on the remote sale or hire of sunbeds (internet transactions);

(vi) sunbed operators, sellers and hirers will be required to notify the HSE;

(vii) a requirement that sunbed operators provide training for staff;

(viii) an enforcement regime and the imposition of penalties for non-compliance;

(ix) an obligation on all sunbed operators to provide protective eyewear to users;

(x) a requirement that warning signs be displayed in all sunbed premises;

(xi) a prohibition on certain promotional marketing practices;

(xii) a requirement on operators to ensure that sunbed users are made fully aware of the potential dangers of sunbed use; and a related provision whereby sunbed users are required to sign to confirm that they have been made so aware.

It is important to bear in mind that the Bill, when finalised, must be notified to the EU Commission under the EU Transparency Directive prior to the publication and introduction of the Bill in the Oireachtas. This EU notification requirement will necessitate a minimum of three months to complete.