17/01/13   Dundee University Press Release – A Review


On 17 January 2013, Dundee University issued a press release in relation to research carried out on 400 UV Tanning stores (none of which were associated with The Tanning Shop). This Press Release has been publicised heavily in the UK media. However, there are always two sides to every story and it is important to be aware of both sides.


  • The Dundee study was conducted 2 years ago, the research cited is also over 2 years old


  • Research quoted in the report regarding cancer risk has been publicly disproved by research conducted by the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine (Elliot et al as cited in the International Journal of Cancer)  http://www.vvg.no/doc/Nyheter/SunbeduseUKElliot.pdf  The final summary of this research is clear in stating that there is no statistically significant association between sunbed use and the risk of melanoma. Statistical significance is the cornerstone of research and as such, if a study is not statistically significant, it should not be used as “evidence” or portrayed as “fact”


  • The Dundee University Press Release generalises in relation to Skin Cancer risk. No research has been conducted with the users of the sunbeds in the Dundee study. Therefore, making associations between the beds in the study and cancer risk is an assumption that is based on disproved, outdated research. The media is focussing on the assumed “worst case scenario” and not scientific fact.


  • The Report states 9 out of 10 beds tested were unsafe, but what about the one bed that was considered safe? The Tanning Shop has invested heavily in 0.3 compliant equipment in all stores which is to date, 90% complete.  This programme commenced in 2010 and will complete by the end of 2013. Customers of The Tanning Shop are already seeing the benefit of this investment on a daily basis, using new equipment in refurbished stores


  • The Tanning Shop fully supports regulation of the tanning industry. The company ensures that;


  1. All exposure times are carefully monitored and recorded
  2. Staff are fully trained to provide a professional service
  3. Premises are licensed in accordance with requirements set out by local government


Despite being the largest operator of tanning salons in the UK, at no point has the Tanning Shop been invited to participate in any sunbed related research or consultation.



  • The claims made regarding legislation and regulations are misleading and inaccurate. The EU Legislation was introduced in 2009 yet sunbed strength was not included in the Sunbeds (Regulations) Act 2010. It is important to clarify that the EU legislation requires sunbeds to mimic the heat of the Mediterranean Midday sun



  • The Tanning Shop provides free consultations for every customer in order to establish their skin type and tanning history prior to their first use of UV equipment. The Tanning Shop is consistent in promoting safe tanning practices in a professional environment and has been committed to this philosophy for many years. The Tanning Shop is committed to educating customers in the philosophy of responsible tanning practices.



  • The Tanning Shop will continue with its investment programme and is working diligently toward 100% compliance whilst adhering strictly to The Sunbed (Regulations) Act 2010. The Tanning Shop introduced a minimum age for UV tanning of 18 years old in June 2009, two years prior to this becoming law. The company is consistent in it’s dedication to staff training and providing a professional, welcoming environment for customers


  • All rooms containing UV equipment carry safety notices



  • Ref ITV – Dr Hilary is referring to legislation in Australia, New Zealand and America. Countries with a greater exposure to outdoor UV light. The same cannot be said for countries in the northern hemisphere whereby the health risks associated with vitamin D deficiency due to lack of exposure to UV light are becoming more and more common. A further, significant point is that a large proportion of Australians are of Celtic origin and live in a climate that is unsuitable to their skin type. In these cases, local legislation must be applied, but the same legislation is not relevant to the UK climate.