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Wednesday, 3 February 2010

BAN SUNBEDS FROM CHESTERS HEALTH AND FITNESS FACILITIES

A CHESTER spa is calling for all sunbeds to be removed from the region's health and fitness centres to help cut the rise in the number of young people developing skin cancer.

The Club and Spa at Hoole Hall wants all of Chester's health and fitness providers to ban sunbeds after Cancer Research UK recently revealed more than a quarter of a million 11 to 17-year-olds risk their health by using the beds.

Chester's Northgate Arena Sports and Leisure Centre, managed by The Chester and District Sports and Recreation Trust (CADSART), still has stand-up sunbeds at £1.50 for a three-minute session for visitors over 16-years-old.

Flintshire County Council has banned all sunbeds from its council-owned leisure centres and Stephanie McDonnell, spa manager at The Club and Spa at Hoole Hall, wants West Cheshire and Chester Council to do the same along with the region's privately owned gyms and spas.

Stephanie says:
"There is now no reason for anyone to use a sunbed. There are better ways to get a healthy glow through diet, exercise and tanning products that are actually good for the skin.
Our specialist face scanner reveals the damage linked to sunburn that causes aging, liver spots, wrinkles and dehydration to young women's skin. When you're a teenager you think it will never happen to you but by the time you're twenty we can clearly see the damage."

Skin tumours are now the number one form of cancer among young women with UK women in their 20s diagnosed with malignant melanoma at a rate of almost one a day, twice as common as breast cancer.

According to research published by Cancer Research UK, more than 250,000 young people aged between 11-17 years old are at risk of developing skin cancer by using sunbeds but the warnings are currently being ignored.

In a letter to the British Medical Journal, the charity said that - in England - an average of six per cent of young people use sunbeds, while half the number of girls aged between 15-17 years old in nearby Liverpool use the machines.

Funded by the National Cancer Action Team and backed by the Department of Health, two studies were commissioned by Cancer Research UK involving more than 9,000 young people as part of its research.

The first study - comprising 3,101 face-to-face interviews - was conducted by BMRB Omnibus, while the second involved 6,209 young people across six English cities was carried out by LVQ Research.

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