By Lucy McGowan
Waverly Council will review current regulation and health impacts of solarium use. In a move that mirrors public concern on the issue, the council voted unanimously to begin the appraisal.
Mayor Ingrid Strewe was among councillors who spoke passionately on the topic at the recent meeting. A council spokesperson said the motion was put forward in part as a reaction to the recent death from skin cancer of Melbourne woman Clare Oliver.
Liberal Councillor Joy Clayton has long been dubious of the safety of solariums and after viewing a television program about Miss Oliver was prompted to propose the motion.
‘The story told on that program was powerful stuff and it alarmed people like me as to how dangerous these things are,’ said Cr Clayton.
According to the Cancer Council, the solarium industry is currently regulated by a voluntary code of conduct. This prompts fears that many customers, particularly young people, are not receiving adequate information regarding the dangerous health effects of solariums and tanning in general.
Studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer reveal that the risk of skin cancer is heightened by solarium use.
‘We need to warn the community. I think it’s the responsibility of anyone in public office to warn our children against using these facilities,’ Cr Clayton said.
On a related item, councillors voted to explore the possibility of becoming a Cancer Council Community Partner. This move would formalise the relationship between Waverly Council and the organisation to work together to combat cancer and its effects.