Crackdown finds most sunbed salons in Blackpool failing safety standards and serving under-age clients

Most sunbeds were 'unsafe' Photo: ITV Granada

Blackpool Council are warning consumers to take great care when using sunbeds after an investigation exposed failings at a large number of tanning salons in the resort.

The month-long project, during which every salon in Blackpool was tested, saw more than 70 per cent were exposed as having unsafe bulbs which emitted higher than recommended levels of potentially harmful UV light.

Meanwhile, 60 per cent of shops across the town fail under age sales tests.

Shops are now being told to shape up immediately or face prosecution.

Cllr Gillian Campbell, Blackpool Council's cabinet member for public protection, said: "Frankly, I am appalled at the results and I hope this will serve as a huge wake up call to the industry and, in particular, the shops here in Blackpool.

"People need to make wise choices and ensure they are not putting themselves at risk of skin cancer.

"I would also urge parents to ensure their children do not have access to sunbeds."

Courtney Atkinson was 14 when she started using sunbeds. Now 15, she says she has literally seen the light.

Blackpool Council's public health team urged people to consider alternatives to sunbeds and to remember to protect themselves and their children in the sun.

Dr Arif Rajpura, Blackpool Council's Director of Public Health, said: "We know that using sunbeds can cause malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

"Consider a safe tanning alternative instead and now that we are coming into spring and hopefully better weather, remember to enjoy the sun safely whether at home or abroad, use shade, clothing and at least SPF30 sunscreen to protect yourself and your kids."

Suzanne Atkins, of Blackpool, has melanoma - aged 39. She says she bitterly regrets ever using sunbeds.

Sunbed facts:

Each year in Blackpool there are around 240 new cases of skin cancer.

Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to UV light from the sun or sunbeds.

Sunbeds give out harmful UV rays which damage your skin and can make it look wrinkled, older or leathery.

IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) agrees there is sufficient evidence to show that using sunbeds causes malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

Sunbeds don't protect against further damage from the sun.

For information about skin cancer and sun protection advice, including sunbeds, visit www.sunsmart.org.uk

A full list of the stores which failed the tests:

Pamper Time, 87 Waterloo Road

Sunshine Tanning, 29-31 Bond Street

Halo Hair & Nails, 40 Bond Street

Fast Tan, 36 Anchorsholme Lane (1 sunshower since retested and compliant)

Sunbeach, 66-68 Ashfield Road

Bulldogz Gym, 130 Bristol Avenue

4 U… 296 Devonshire Road

Sundays, 27a Layton Road

Sunny Days, 118 Manchester Road

Tantalise, 20 Westcliffe Drive

Layton Tanning Centre, 37 Layton Road

Sunbodies, 213 Bispham Road

Sunkissed, 79 Whitegate Drive

Kabanna, 9a Preston Old Road

La Belle Boutique, 185 Preston Old Road

Beauty Boutique, 294 Highfield Raod

Spartan Sunbeds, 192 Dickson Road

California Sunbeds, 71 Station Road

Universe Gym, Clifton Trade Centre, Brinwell Road

Sunseekers, 14-16 Church Street

Helio Fitness, Newton Drive

Brunswick Gym, 21-27 Bethesda Square

Reform Health Studio, 4-6 Milbourne Street

Sunsation, 9a Daggers Hall Lane

When stores are fully compliant and have been re-checked by council officers, the list will be updated to confirm this is the case.

Keep up to date with the latest findings here:

Stores which complied with the regulations:

Sunspot, 14 St Annes Road

Guys & Dolls, 99 Talbot Road

DW Sport, Vicarage Lane

Village Herons’ Reach Hotel, East Park Drive

Trades Hotel, 51-55 Lord Street

Acqua Sauna, 25 Springfield Road

Spindles Gym at Norbreck Castle Hotel, Queens Promenade

Absolute Fitness, 32 Waterloo Road

Havana Sunbeds, 87a Coronation Street

Indulgence, 390 Vicarage Lane.