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Expert opinion

Biological effects of ultraviolet radiation relevant to health with particular reference to sunbeds for cosmetic purposes

Final Opinion

Details

Publication date
17 November 2017
Author
Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety

Description

SCHEER WG on Sunbeds
SCHEER members: Ana Proykova (Chair of the WG since April 2016 and Rapporteur), Theodoros Samaras, Rodica Mariana Ion
SCCS member: Pieter Jan Coenraads
External experts:Claire Beausoleil, Jean-Francois Doré (co-Rapporteur), Rüdiger Greinert, Philippe Hartemann, Norbert Leitgeb, Lesley Rushton (Chair of the WG until April 2016), Greet Schoeters
Contact:SANTE-C2-SCHEER@ec.europa.eu
On request from: European Commission
Approved on: 17 November 2016

Following a request from the European Commission, the Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks reviewed recent evidence to update the 2006 Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products on the Biological effects of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) relevant to health, with particular reference to sunbeds for cosmetic purposes. The term “sunbed” refers to all types of UV tanning devices used for cosmetic purposes.

UVR, including UVR emitted by sunbeds, is a complete carcinogen, as it acts both as an initiator and a promoter. The SCHEER concludes that there is strong evidence that exposure to UVR, including that emitted by sunbeds, causes cutaneous melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma at all ages and that the risk for cancer is higher when the first exposure takes place in younger ages. There is moderate evidence that exposure to UVR, including that emitted by sunbeds, also increases the risk of basal cell carcinoma and ocular melanoma.

The potentially beneficial effects of sunbed use such as generation of vitamin D are outweighed by the adverse effects. There is no need to use sunbeds to induce Vitamin D production.

There is no threshold level of UV-irradiance and UV–dose for the induction of skin cancer. Therefore, there is no safe limit for exposure to UV radiation from sunbeds.

Keywords:

Ultraviolet radiation, UV-tanning devices, Sunbeds, Health effects, Risk assessment, SCHEER

Opinion to be cited as:

SCHEER (Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks), Opinion on Biological effects of ultraviolet radiation relevant to health with particular reference to sunbeds for cosmetic purposes, 17 November 2017.

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