Safety of tanning salons
We need sunlight because the sun’s light and heat gives us a feeling of general well-being and because the UV radiation help our skin to create vitamin D.
This is why, during the long winter months, lack of sunlight causes sunbathers to venture to sunny destinations or to the sunbed. Although the risks of uncontrolled exposure to the sun are well known, too many people ignore them. These risks are serious! Ultraviolet (UV) radiation can seriously damage our skin, but this is not always visible, and it is irreversible!
This is why it’s important to sunbathe sensibly, whether it’s in the sun or the sunbed!
A tanning salon can only be run if it meets the general safety requirements of the law of 9 February 1994 on the safety of products and services . The requirements of this law are supplemented by specific requirements in the Royal Decree of 20 June 2002 regarding the operation of tanning salons .
Each tanning salon must comply with the following conditions:
- a tanning salon can only function without a receptionist if it meets the conditions of an automated tanning salon. In this scenario, a receptionist must be present for at least 4 days per week and for at least 1 hour per day;
- each receptionist must have succesfully completed the mandatory training;
- the booths housing the sunbeds must be spacious, well ventilated and allow rapid evacuation in an emergency. In addition, each booth is equipped so that a customer can, in an emergency, seek immediate assistance (e.g. using an emergency button connected to the intercom);
- the mandatory inscriptions, instructions and warnings are clear, legible and displayed in a clearly visible location; they are written in at least the language(s) of the linguistic region where the tanning salon is located;
- the sunbeds are disinfected at least once a day;
- each booth contains cleaning products that meet the specific requirements for sunbeds (i.e. hygiene, dermatological aspects and high temperatures);
- protective goggles are provided for customers;
- if it breaks down, the sunbed automatically switches off;
- the radiation from the sunbeds cannot ever exceed a total erythematous effective irradiance (maximum radiation density) of 0.3 W/sqm;
- the condition of the UV emitters and UV filters is inspected according to the frequency of use and at least every three months;
- the receptionist or the control system automatically adjusts the intensity and duration of use of the sunbed to the customer's skin type taking into account the features of the sunbed and the lamps used;
- the receptionist can only provide one single key card or similar device per user;
- the receptionist (or control system) ensures that exposure in an initial session is only half that of a normal session. Furthermore, the receptionist (or control system) ensures that there is at least a 48-hour gap between the first and the second exposure sessions and at least 24 hours between subsequent exposures;
- access to sunbeds is refused to customers who:
- are taking medication that increases sensitivity to UV radiation (if in doubt, consult a doctor);
- are aged under 18;
- have skin type I;
- have or have had skin cancer.
A list of frequently asked questions on the interpretation of operating conditions has been prepared as guidance. [Not available in English]
At your first visit, the receptionist must give you information and a document containing the necessary warnings and preventive measures. You must sign this document as confirmation of receipt.
The receptionist determines your skin type with you and adds you to a record book. The duration and frequency of sunbed sessions is then determined, according to your skin type. This information is generally programmed into your personal key card (or similar device).
The wearing of protective glasses is compulsory while under the sunbed. These UV glasses must be available on site, free of charge or in return for payment. Ask for them if necessary!
Access to sunbeds will be refused if:
- you are taking medication that increases sensitivity to UV radiation (if in doubt, consult a doctor);
- you are aged under 18;
- you have skin type I;
- you have or have had skin cancer.
Disputes and complaints
Complaints about the safety of tanning salons can be submitted to the FPS Economy's Directorate-General Control and Mediation
Disputes and complaints
- Sécurité des produits et des services, loi 09-02-1994
- Réglementation relative aux centres de bronzage, AR 20-06-2002
- Quel est votre type de peau ?
- Pour un bronzage sage...
- Sécurité des centres de bronzage: Questions fréquemment posées - FAQ
- Arrêté sur la formation de responsable de l’accueil dans un centre de bronzage
- Arrêté sur la formation de reponsable de l'accueil
- Centres de bronzage : dorénavant interdits au mineurs!
- Questions et réponses sur l’interprétation de la loi du 9 février 1994
- Arrêté royal du 20 juin 2002 relatif aux conditions d’exploitation des centres de bronzage
- Arrêté du gouvernement flamand du 10 octobre 2003 concernant la formation de responsable de l’accueil dans un centre de bronzage
- Arrêté du gouvernement wallon du 28 août 2008 concernant la formation de reponsable de l'acceuil dans un centre de bronzage
- Loi du 9 février 1994 relative à la sécurité des produits et des services