Germany bans solariums for under-18s

June 19, 2009

The German lower house of parliament on Friday passed a law banning under-18s from going to solariums because of the risks of developing skin cancer.

According to the country's ADP dermatological association, around four million under 18s in Germany go regularly -- defined as once a month or more -- to solariums, some of them as young as 10.

"If people under 35 regularly use solariums, the risk of getting at some point in life malignant , the third deadliest cancer that there is, rises by 75 percent," the ADP's Professor Eckhard Breitbart told AFP.

"The younger someone is, the higher the risk," he said.

In Germany, around 90,000 people develop basal cell cancer every year, around 30,000 squamous cell cancer, the second most common form of , and some 20,000 melanoma, the deadliest form, Breitbart said.

The law was passed by a large majority. Solariums are highly popular in Germany, with around 14 million regular uses between 18 and 45, according to a 2008 report by the ADP and German Aid.

(c) 2009 AFP

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