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Requirements for cosmetic tanning units
Regulations have been passed to protect South Australians from the harmful effects of UV radiation emitted by cosmetic tanning units.
- Radiation Protection and Control (Cosmetic Tanning Unit) Regulations 2008
- Radiation Protection and Control (Non-ionising Radiation) Regulations 2008
Tanning unit owners and operators must abide by the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2635:2002 Solaria for cosmetic purposes, and comply with other requirements.
Any person who operates a tanning unit must be licensed.
The Regulations have been made under the Radiation and Protection and Control Act 1982 which is administered by the EPA.
The Regulations follow the recommendations by the Radiation Health Committee of the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) to establish a nationally consistent regulatory approach.
Commercial sun beds to be banned from 2015
The commercial use of cosmetic tanning units will be banned from 31 December 2014. Registered owners of tanning salons in SA have been notified of the Government's decision and efforts will be made to help them adapt their operations for the future.
>> News release (106.8 KB PDF)
What are sun tanning units and solaria?
A sun tanning unit or sun bed is a device that emits high levels of UV radiation (up to five times the strength of Adelaide’s midday summer sun) and which is used to produce a cosmetic tan.
Tanning units use several fluorescent lamps that have phosphor blends designed to emit UV radiation in a spectrum that is somewhat similar to the sun (typically 99% UVA and 1-2 % UVB). A solarium contains one or more tanning units.
What should a client expect from a tanning unit operator?
Firstly, the operator must check the age of a client to ensure they do not expose a person under the age of 18 to UV radiation.
The operator also must undertake a detailed skin type analysis (see Schedule 1, Form 1) to determine a client's skin type and exposure time based on the Australian Standard. The skin type test is extremely important to determine:
- whether the client is skin type 1 (fair skin, freckles, always burn, never tans) in which case it is illegal for the operator to expose the client to UV radiation
- the exposure time for a particular skin type (2, 3, 4 or 5) to avoid burning of the skin.
In addition to the skin type test, an operator should also ask and determine if a client has any other exposure limiting conditions, such as skin conditions, taking certain medications or pregnancy.
The operator should warn the client of the dangers of skin damage and skin cancer from exposure to UV radiation and both the client and the operator are required to sign and date the client consent form. The operator is required to keep the signed consent form for no less than two years.
Last modified: 30/10/2012 03:14 pm