TANNING salons in the North East have placed unwitting sunbed users at increased risk of skin cancer by exposing them to UV levels more than three times the legal limit, an investigation has revealed.
Trading standards officials found more than 60 per cent of sunbeds they tested were being operated illegally; and in the worst cases UV emissions were more than three times the European limit – which experts say means sun-lovers were put at increased risk of potentially deadly skin cancer.
Durham County Council has warned salon owners that they could face legal action, a large fine and even prison if they fail to comply.
But the Sunbed Association said salons would continue to flout the law until all councils crack down on all operators.
Durham County Council tested 229 sunbeds at 88 premises across the county – virtually all known operators – over several months and a staggering 140 were found to be outside the legal limit for irradiance, a measure of intensity of sunlight.
Fifty-eight businesses had sunbeds which failed the safety tests.
All have been ordered to remove their illegal equipment.