LATROBE Valley’s only salon with tanning beds has voiced its outrage at the State Government’s decision to ban commercial solarium use at the end of 2014.
Morwell’s Arleah’s Beauty Works owner Jenni Mainwarring said the ban would cost her a “significant amount of money” and saw it as an infringement upon consenting adults’ rights.
“I don’t agree with phasing them out at all… we’re turning into a place where soon the government’s going to get to control every part of your life,” Ms Mainwarring said.
She said while “by no means is the solarium my biggest seller” she makes about $14,000 a year from it, with up to 13 customers a day using the two sun beds.
Ms Mainwarring said the ban would not achieve its goal of reducing cancer because people would still tan and one of the greatest health threats was still “readily available”.
“In my opinion banning a solarium is pretty pointless when everyone walks around smoking. If you are serious about getting rid of cancer get rid of smoking,” she said.
Ms Mainwarring said the ban would only push solariums “underground”.
“People are already begging to buy my solariums… you can buy them on eBay. People will just buy them and let their friends use it,” she said,
However Cancer Council Victoria SunSmart manager Jen Makin said this ban would save the lives of Victorians and save many from experiencing the “devastating effects” skin cancer has on patients and their families.
“Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in young Victorians and every year almost 1900 Australians die from skin cancer, which is tragically the most preventable of all cancer,” Ms Makin said.
Ms Makin said home use could be more dangerous than regulated salon use, but supported a total ban of solariums.
She said the “significant risk factor” was ultraviolet radiation exposure in the development of skin cancer.
“Tanning units can emit artificial UV several times stronger than the strength of the midday sun,” Ms Makin said.
“We also know that people who use a solarium before the age of 35 have a 87 per cent greater risk of melanoma than those who do not use solariums.”
Ms Makin said the cancer council encouraged operators to switch off solariums as soon as possible.
“The sooner solariums cease to operate in this state, the more lives will be saved.”
Ms Mainwarring said it should remain an individual’s choice to attend a solarium, adding she personally did not use solarium, “but that’s my choice”.
“If you don’t believe in a solarium then don’t use it… we don’t pull people off the streets and say ‘you must get in my solarium’,” she said.
Ms Mainwarring said her business would be able to introduce other services to replace income, but was angered at a “small minority” stopping the people who enjoy solariums.