Leeds & West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire tanning salons break 'no under-18s' law

Nearly half of West Yorkshire's tanning salons are ignoring the law and are allowing under-18s to use sunbeds, say Trading Standards officers.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards sent underage test purchasers into 25 salons, 11 of which allowed the under-18s to use a sunbed.

Under-18s in England and Wales were forbidden from April from using sunbeds to try to reduce skin cancer risks.

Premises found flouting the new law could be fined up to £20,000.

Louise Marshall, an environmental health officer working with West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said at this stage tanning salons found to be breaking the law would be treated with a light touch.

"It's a relatively new piece of legislation and we are going down the route of raising awareness," she said.

"However, if we do continue to get particular complaints against certain premises then we can step that up to more formalised enforcement."

'Clamp down'

Ms Marshall said if more "severe" cases came to light in the future, prosecutions would follow.

Karen Howe, a Wakefield tanning salon owner who turned away an underage test purchaser during the West Yorkshire Trading Standards operation, said she was "surprised" so many shops were still breaking the law.

"If they are letting people onto sunbeds under the age of 18, I think the law should clamp down on them," she said.

"It makes people like us, who aren't letting in under-18s, look bad."

West Yorkshire Trading Standards said guidance about the new legislation for tanning salon owners was freely available from the Health and Safety Executive and from the Department of Health.

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