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Burn baby burn: The Liverpool look that's a killer

National clampdown on sunbed shops urged by Liverpool City Council

Written by . Published on July 31st 2013.

Burn baby burn: The Liverpool look that's a killer

IT is said that in Liverpool we like to live every day like it's our last.

Accordingly, with more tanning salons than anywhere else in the UK, if we are going to Hell today we are going to show up ready basted for some hot oven action.

For despite the law stating that you must be 18 or over to use them, research tells us that in Liverpool children as young as 11 are using sunbeds at least once a week.

Studies also indicate that half (50 percent) of all girls here have used a sunbed by the age of 15 (compared with 11 percent nationally) with the average age for starting use being 13-14.


Now Liverpool City Council is calling on the Government to give every local authority in England the power to license and regulate sunbed businesses, to help halt the rise of skin cancer, the fastest growing cancer amongst 18 – 35 year olds in the UK.

Launched today, its ‘The Look To Die For’ campaign is proposing all English premises offering the use of sunbeds will have to provide clear and correct information about the serious health dangers associated with their use, by law.

It is backed by budget fake tan brand St Moriz which, in the second half of the two-fold campaign, is planning to roll out consultations in Liverpool schools and on social media to get girls to bin the beds and instead get their bronzy out of a bottle.

Liverpool is a city that is perceived as doing everything to the max: parties, racing, dressing up. We even have our own “Liverpool look”. So, for every 4x4 with “One Life, Live It” emblazoned on the rear, we have a dozen sunbed shops ready to emblazon something else on one's rear.

Beach BumsBeach BumsFor only a couple of quid a time, take your pick from the exotic ("Tanerife"), the self explanatory ("Boss Tans") or 300 more.

It is this Liverpool Look that is the problem and it seems there is little evidence of a self-regulatory, whiter-than-white policy being applied across the city.

Local research undertaken in 2012 found that sunbed outlets here aren’t enforcing the legislation that was introduced in 2010 that restricts the use of sunbeds to over 18s. 

Thus, the initiative, supported by Cancer Research UK and the Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group, is also aiming to reduce the number of teenage girls in the city using sunbeds.

Licensing, meanwhile, would ensure that a number of minimum health, safety and good practice guidelines are met in all facilities offering the use of sunbeds.
So Liverpool City Council says it wants to ensure that every sunbed business...

* Is supervised by a properly trained member of staff.
* Displays and provides sunbed users with detailed information about     how to use a sunbed and the associated health risks.
* Does not display or provide misleading information.
* Provides protective eyewear for users.
* Follows health and safety rules.

Authorities in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales already have the power to ensure that businesses educate users about the risks of sunbed use, it says. In England, only Nottinghamshire and London are able to license sunbed businesses to ensure that they take steps to protect the health of their customers, but cities like Liverpool are unable to do this. 

Councillor Roz Gladden, Assistant Cabinet Member for Adult Health and Social Care and Cancer Champion for Liverpool City Council said: “Liverpool has a significant problem with sunbed use compared to many other parts of the country. With ‘The Look To Die For’ we are putting forward a strong case to the Secretary of State to grant local authorities the powers they need to protect their constituents.”

Don't End Up Like ThisDon't end up like thisThe move is backed by Sara Osborne, head of policy at Cancer Research UK, who said: “Research clearly shows that using sunbeds before the age of 35 increases the risk of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, by almost 60 per cent.

"Adults need to know about these risks before they decide to use sunbeds. That’s why the Government must ensure that all sunbed businesses provide clear and accurate health information to the public and require all local authorities to properly license their activities.”

The council, meanwhile, is asking that people support its lobbying campaign, by signing its petition here

Melanoma, marketing and why a girl is better off faking it

Bin The Beds

THE saying goes, “You can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink” and nobody can be forced to wear protective goggles or heed any amount of warning notices in the throes of that flushed, three minute quest for instant gold.

Moderate exposure to genuine sunshine is vital for Vitamin D and beneficial to our health. So why aren't we encouraging our young teens to top up the natural way (er, has it stopped raining yet?), or to adopt the mindset that pale can be interesting?

Politely put, we're apparently not ready for that in Liverpool.

Symptoms From The Look To Die For SiteClick image to see full screenDr Paula Grey, Director of Public Health at Liverpool City Council, says: “The local campaign acknowledges that teenage girls in the city like to look tanned and focuses on educating them about the risk of using sunbeds, whilst also improving their confidence and skills in using fake tan. The campaign is being supported by fake tan brand St Moriz who are sharing their expertise to show girls in the city how they can get the ‘look’ without the health risk.”
Vested consumer interests bolstering campaigns in the name of public health awareness is nothing news as authorities' own funds become ever depleted.

As a result, the Look To Die For website is slick and informative. However, the subliminal word from the sponsors means St Moriz's presence will be felt at events taking place in Liverpool in August and September. Alongside NHS mole-examinations, expect fake tan demos and one-to-one consultations with the aim of getting teenagers to "bin the beds and start using fake tan instead”.

From October a campaign will be rolled out into schools and colleges complemented by a Youtube channel containing fake tan lessons.

To complete the data capture exercise, there's a #binthebeds twitter hashtag and a “The Look To Die For” Facebook page has been launched “where girls can join in with the campaign”.

It urges, “Like us for fake tan tips, discounts and prizes”.

The Look To Die For WebberySlick and informative: The Look To Die For site

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Bbc FhbbnJuly 31st 2013.

It's only chavs who use them so why not encourage their use?

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