Opinion on Biological effects of ultraviolet radiation relevant to health with particular reference to sunbeds for cosmetic purposes

30/11/16

Today the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER) of the European Commission published its final opinion on the biological effects of ultraviolet radiation relevant to health with particular reference to sunbeds for cosmetic purposes.

The full text can be accessed by clicking here.

In retrospect, SCHEER concludes that:

UVR, including UVR emitted by sunbeds, is a complete carcinogen, as it acts both as an initiator and a promoter. Based on the available scientific evidence the Committee concludes that there is strong evidence that exposure to UVR, including that emitted by sunbeds, causes cutaneous melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma at all ages and that the risk for cancer is higher when the first exposure takes place in younger ages. There is also moderate evidence that exposure to UVR, including that emitted by sunbeds, also increases the risk of basal cell carcinoma and ocular melanoma.

The beneficial effects of sunbed use, such as generation of vitamin D, are outweighed by the adverse effects. There is no need to use sunbeds to induce vitamin D production because alternative sources of vitamin D are readily available. There is no threshold level of UV-irradiance and UV–dose for the induction of skin cancer. Therefore, there is no safe limit for exposure to UV radiation from sunbeds.

The European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology fully supports the conclusions of the opinion.