New commercial solariums will be banned in Queensland from next year.

"Under new regulations, the possession, supply and use of new commercial solaria will be banned," Australian Health Minister Lawrence Springborg announced today.

Mr Springborg said people who used sunbeds and stand-up tanning machines before the age of 35 had a 75 per cent greater risk of melanoma.

He said the legislation was in step with community attitudes.


The ban, from January 1, will not apply to a solarium used exclusively by a health practitioner for a diagnostic or therapeutic procedure, or privately-owned solariums for an individual's personal use.

Recent industry surveys found about 570 full-time staff and 650 part-time staff were employed by solarium operators in Queensland, and about 340 full-time staff and 410 part-time staff employed in gyms with solariums.

About 120 solariums are registered in Queensland to some 80 licensed operators, which is down from 200 operators with 350 units in 2007.

"This ban on new equipment will accelerate the trend away from solaria as existing equipment fails or as licensees relocate," Mr Springborg said.