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‘Saving our skins’ campaign set to see sunbed inspections launched in bid to battle cancer

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A council campaign looking at cutting down on skin cancer is set to see inspectors carry out tests of sunbeds at Hartlepool salons.

Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Committee was given an update on the ‘Saving our Skins’ campaign and the steps which will be taken during the coming year.

The project was initially rolled out in 2014/15 and sunbed salons in the area were visited and equipment tested to check compliance with national regulations.

Fifty-five sunbeds were tested and there was a 35% failure rate.

Regulations state the sunbed radiates ultra violet radiation that is equivalent to the midday sun in the Mediterranean.

Businesses who failed were provided with advice and the equipment was retested and by the end of the initiative all sunbeds were compliant.

During 2018/19 the council will revisit salons to re-assess compliance levels.

Sylvia Pinkney, head of public protection, said: “We’ll be doing some more work on the Saving our Skins campaign after it started 2 or 3 years ago looking into preventing skin cancer.

“We’ll be following that work through and looking to see if all the improvements have been made and what the present situation is.

“We’ll be testing tubes used in sunbeds to ensure they are correct.”

Coun Rob Cook raised concerns on the condition of private sunbeds given the high rate of failure last time out.

He said: “I’m just a bit concerned of the ones leased out to people, used for a while, a week to a month,  if the team is able to get access to them.

“It’s worth looking into.”

The campaign looks at promoting sun safe behaviour, environmental measures including providing protection from the sun by shading and ensuring the safety of sun tanning establishments and equipment.