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Written Answers. - Sunbed Regulation.

Wednesday, 28 February 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 462 No. 3

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 32. Ms Keogh Information on Helen Catherine Anne Keogh Zoom on Helen Catherine Anne Keogh  asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton  the plans, if any, he has to ensure that sunbeds do not endanger the health and safety of persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4479/96]

Minister for Enterprise and Employment (Mr. R. Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The safety of electrical equipment is governed in Ireland, as it is in other EU member states, by the Low Voltage Directive (LVD) 73/23/EEC. This directive applies to electrical equipment with a voltage rating of between 50 and 1,000 volts for alternating current and between 75 and 1,500 volts for direct current. Sunbeds used in the home and in health/tanning salons fall into this category. The directive provides that electrical equipment may not be placed on the market if it poses a safety risk when used for the purpose for which it is intended.

Under the directive it is primarily the responsibility of traders to ensure that electrical equipment placed on the market is safe and fully satisfies the relevant safety standards.

The directive is implemented in [752] national law by the Low Voltage Regulations (SI Nos. 428 of 1992 and 307 of 1994). These Regulations provide the Director of Consumer Affairs with powers of enforcement and allow for the appointment of authorised officers to carry out inspections on equipment. Inspectors from the Office of the Director of Consumer Affairs carry out checks on electrical products on sale in Ireland to ensure that they conform to the safety objectives of the regulations.

Arising from a recent tragic case which was widely reported in the national press, the Director of Consumer Affairs is having a particular type of sunbed examined and that examination is ongoing. I understand that my colleague, the Minister for Health, is examining the possibility of publishing a code of practice for the safe use of sunbeds. Officials of my Department will give advice and assistance in that regard.

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