Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Questions (205, 206, 221)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

205. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health if he has any proposals to bring in regulations with regard to persons who operate sun beds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32708/13]

View answer

Clare Daly

Question:

206. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Health if he will introduce legislation to protect young persons from sunbed use as a result of the huge incidents of skin cancer resulting from same [32306/13]

View answer

Anne Ferris

Question:

221. Deputy Anne Ferris asked the Minister for Health when he expects legislation on the regulation of sunbeds to be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32416/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 205, 206 and 221 together.

I can confirm that legislation will be implemented to regulate the use of sunbeds. This Bill has priority drafting and officials of my 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.

The drafting of the Bill will be finalised within the next 6-8 weeks. Thereafter, it must be notified to the EU Commission under the EU Transparency Directive prior to its publication and initiation of the Bill in the Oireachtas. This EU notification requirement will necessitate a minimum of three months to complete.