Survivor calls for total sunbed ban

By Amelia Wade

Sarah Wilson. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Sarah Wilson. Photo / Mark Mitchell

A melanoma survivor says while regulating the sunbed industry is a step in the right direction, the council should go one further and ban them altogether.

"It's a bit like someone's standing at the edge of a cliff being pale skinned and living in New Zealand, then having a sunbed is what pushes them off it."

Sarah Wilson, 50, has never used a sunbed, but having battled melanoma after being sunburnt on the ski slopes as a child, she wants to warn others about the dangers of exposure.

"I would never want anyone to go through melanoma like I've done and if there's anything we can do to lower people's risk, we should do it."

Mrs Wilson, a Wellington mountaineer, commended the Auckland Council for banning sunbeds for minors.

Research shows that people who have used sunbeds at a young age are 59 per cent more likely to develop future melanoma skin cancers.

Mrs Wilson's battle started after she noticed a small black dot on her knee in 1999. "I went from having a black dot on my knee the size of a pin to having a scar about eight centimetres long."

Since then, she's had "other bits cut out" of her, including recently a part of her ear.

- NZ Herald

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