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Advocacy: Fresh call to ban solariums in Victoria

Posted by Cairin: September 2012 

On Thursday 13 September, SunSmart and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre joined together to honour the memory of Clare Oliver, who passed away from melanoma five years ago, aged 26.

Clare visited a solarium about 20 times in her early 20s and believed that these visits contributed to her diagnosis. Clare pioneered the campaign against sunbeds, determined to use her tragic story of skin cancer, and of a life lost far too early, to help others avoid the same fate.

At the event, the medical community pledged their support for an outright solarium ban. 161 cancer specialists and clinicians of the Victorian Co-operative Oncology Group joined together to call on the Victorian government to follow the lead of New South Wales (NSW) and ban solariums in this state.

SunSmart Manager, Jen Makin said: "Clare brought about great change by telling her story, which resulted in the industry being regulated, but now more needs to be done. New evidence shows that using a sun bed before you are 35 boosts your risk of melanoma by 87%. Solariums are dangerous, unnecessary, outdated and irrefutably linked to cancer. Now is the time for action. Unfortunately for some, like Clare Oliver, it is already too late," said Ms Makin.

To show your support for a ban, please post a message on the SunSmartAus Facebook at facebook.com/SunSmartAus

Fast facts

  • An estimated one in six melanomas in young Australians aged 18–29 could be prevented if solariums were shut down.
  • It has been estimated that each year in Australia, 281 new melanoma cases, 43 melanoma-related deaths, and 2,572 new cases of squamous cell carcinoma are attributable to solarium use, at a cost to the health system of around $3 million.
  • Sunbeds emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels three times as strong as the midday sun, with some sunbeds up to six times stronger. This is equivalent to a UV Index of 48 (generally the highest UV Index level in Victoria is 12).

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