A MEMBER EVENTS &
SEMINARS COLLEGES & TRAINING APAA AWARDS ACCREDITED SALONS IMPORTANT LINKS ANNOUNCEMENTS
POLICY ON SOLARIUMS
Part of the responsibility of an Association is to monitor and offer direction on key issues that will affect the integrity and recognition of the various activities that are performed in skin therapy and the beauty industry. Through its strong connections with Government regulatory bodies the APAA has often been attacked when attempting to warn the industry of the need to review their practices in light of new research findings or new regulations that are coming into effect.
One such area has been the use of solariums. Even though it has been suggested that new technologies are providing a safer and offer a more controlled environment for tanning, on-going research is still indicating that they can offer no guarantee against skin cancer.
As a result of such research findings several years ago the APAA was compelled to publish an article on the dangers of solariums. It urged skin therapists who are attempting to support the skin's regeneration process to avoid recommending the use of solariums to their clients and if possible, consider removing them from their premises. The article received great support from the dermatologists, while several suppliers of solariums attacked the APAA as engaging in media-style fear tactics and withdrew their membership.
Despite the foreseen animosity by the solaria sector the APAA recognised its obligation to communicate the facts to the industry even though it would lose favour with certain members of the industry. It had no choice in the matter but to warn the industry on the basis of research rather than supporting commercial bias.
The dangers of poor solarium practices continues
In 2004 Victoria's Cancer Council issued a report that confirmed that many solariums in Melbourne were putting people in danger of getting skin cancer.
A study conducted by the Council found that 90 per cent of customers with very fair skin were allowed to use solariums, putting them in breach of Australian Standards, which bans fair-skinned people from using them. Spokesperson for the Council's Sunsmart Program Julie Hassard issued a statement that consumers should think twice before using a solarium to tan.
She further stated that the result of the study that examined the compliance of solariums in Australia was alarming. Her observation was that solariums were allowing them to be used by people who were at high risk of developing skin damage and skin cancer. They were encouraged to use these facilities thinking that they were a safer option. She also criticised the establishments that provided this service to inappropriate clients stating that "They are clearly disregarding the dangers for the sake of a sale”.
Further reports surfaced in August this year as alarming new statistics confirmed that the appropriate warnings are not given to the consumers. Skin cancer experts are alarmed by new research, which shows there has been a 300 per cent rise in the number of solariums in Australia in the past decade. The study was once again conducted by the Victoria Cancer Council and stated that Melbourne has more solariums than any other capital city, increasing from 25 in 1996 to 169 in 2006.