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European Sunlight Association

voice of the european indoor tanning industry

ESA actively engages with EU policy-makers to define and implement operating standards in sunbed services across Europe, ensuring the highest possible level of safety.

ESA cooperated with EU policy-makers to promote fast adoption and implementation of the 0.3W/m2 limit on UV radiation emitted from sunbeds which the EU adopted as mandatory standard in 2007 (EN 60335-2-27). Under this standard, a sunbed session shall have a maximum UV output that corresponds to the mid-day Mediterranean sun (UV index of 12) to avoid any risk of burns and to reduce the likelihood of accident due to long exposure.

This engagement continues today, as ESA  actively participates in preliminary work initiated by the European Commission to reassess standards and its coherence with the objectives defined in the Low Voltage Directive (2014/35/EU).

ESA has also taken several initiatives of its own to ensure tanning services in comply with EU legislation:

  • ESA has developed a European Code of Conduct for tanning services, as well as training materials for tanning studios.
  • ESA also organises information seminars and trainings in cooperation with national associations in the Member States, including via an e-learning platform.
  • In November 2016, ESA released its Industry Commitment to responsible indoor tanning in the EU, which stresses the sector’s willingness to promote cooperation with regulators and supports the highest possible level of consumer safety.

European Standard EN16489

In 2012, the European Sunlight Association started a major initiative by developing a new European Standard on training for and service provision by sunbed operators, in cooperation with CENELEC (one of the main European standardization bodies) and the Austrian Standards Institute (ASI).
This work took three years and was carried out jointly with stakeholders such as the European Cancer Leagues (ECL) and the European Association for the Co-ordination of Consumer Representation in Standardisation (ANEC). The standard (EN 16489) was approved in 2014 and ESA together with its members is currently working to implement it across the EU. This would be greatly helped if governments or the EU decided to make it mandatory or at least reference it in any regulation of sunbeds.

 

The Training and Services Standard consists of three parts:

  1. Requirements with regard to the provision of training: it specifies the learning contents essential for the training of persons working for a professional indoor tanning facility and giving information and advice on UV exposure to customers (called “indoor UV exposure consultants”), as well as the procedures of how their qualification shall be provided and assessed.
  2. Required qualification and competence: it sets out the requirements which are essential for the knowledge and skills, competence, and qualification of indoor UV exposure consultants.
  3. Requirements for the provision of services: it defines the requirements for and assessment of the services provided by professional indoor UV exposure facilities, and contributes to further strengthening consumer protection and safety with regard indoor tanning services.

ESA has also developed a certification, training & labelling scheme for this new standard in cooperation with ASI to facilitate its national implementation. A pilot project was recently launched in the United Kingdom and is ongoing. More countries should follow in the future.