To assist in the development of the 2008 Australian/New Zealand standard on solaria and related regulations, Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency scientists visited a number of tanning establishments during 2008 to measure the intensity and spectral distribution of the ultraviolet radiation (UVR) emissions from a range of solaria. The 2002 Australian/New Zealand Standard “Solaria for cosmetic purposes” (AS/NZS 2635) allowed a maximum UVR output from solaria of UV Index 60, a compromise between the solarium industry who wanted no upper limit and the health agencies who wanted to limit intensity. Of the 20 solaria examined in detail, only one had emissions of intensity less than UV Index 12, typical of mid-latitude summer sunlight, 15 units emitted more than UV Index 20, while three units emitted at intensities above UV Index 36, the maximum allowed by the new standard, AS/NZS 2635 (2008) and would thus not comply. UVA emissions ranged from 98 W · m−2 up to a maximum of 438 W · m−2, more than six times the UVA content of mid-latitude summer sunshine. The results indicate that solaria users in Australia have access to solaria that are high intensity units with both significantly higher UVB and UVA emissions than sunlight, with implications for resultant adverse health effects.
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