Girl of 14 told: It’s OK to use our sunbeds

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An UNDERCOVER sting has been carried out in Calderdale to make sure tanning salons observe age restrictions.

Of the five sunbed businesses in Calderdale tested by a hit squad of agencies, one allowed a 14-year-old girl to use their sun beds.

Since April it has been illegal to offer UV sessions to under-18s.

The operation was part of a week of action across West Yorkshire by trading standards, environmenal health and the health protection agency.

Wakefield came off the worst, with four out of the five businesses tested letting the 14-year-old use the sun beds.

The overall sales rate in West Yorkshire was 44 per cent – which is worse when compared with other age-restricted items such as tobacco and alcohol where traditionally 15 per cent of retailers sell to children.

Louise Marshall, of the Health Protection Agency, said: “The relatively high positive test purchase rate achieved in relation to sunbeds is of concern.”

However, as part of the intervention it is now hoped that sunbed studio operators will have a greater understanding of their responsibilities under the legislation.

This in turn will lead to them being more vigilant in checking the ages of youngsters who may be under the age of 18, and where necessary refusing them access to their sun bed facilities.”

West Yorkshire Trading Standards advised businesses to ask for photographic identification for those who look under 21.

The full act can be found on www.legislation.gov.uk or on the Department of Health website www.doh.gov.uk. Businesses can also contact their council.