INTRODUCTION : In 2009, ultraviolet-emitting tanning devices, i.e. sunbeds and tanning booths, were officially classified as carcinogenic to human
health (Group 1) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. METHODS : Here, we aim to estimate South African-based facilities with
indoor tanning services advertised in the printed Yellow Pages and online in two directories. Printed Yellow Pages telephone directory beauty salon
facilities listings (2010-14) for all provinces were examined and those mentioning "sunbed" and/or "tanning bed" recorded. Beauty/spa facilities
were also identified using two sunbed listing webpages. RESULTS : A total of 40 web-advertised facilities had a sunbed. Beauty facilities in the
Yellow Pages specifically mentioning sunbeds declined by 62% between 2010 (n=53) and 2014 (n=20). Gauteng had the highest number of
facilities (n=25) with a sunbed. Facilities with sunbeds exist in South Africa, as evidenced by the Yellow Pages and web-advertised data, but their
true prevalence remains largely unknown. It is likely that online and walk-by advertising is increasingly more common than print.
CONCLUSION : Given that sunbeds may likely soon become regulated in South Africa, further research is needed to better quantify sunbed provision,
determine advice provided by facility operators to new users, investigate whether age restrictions or limits exist for sunbed use, and describe
typical patterns of sunbed use in South Africa.
Table 1: Numbers of “beauty” facilities, and numbers and percentages of those specifically mentioning sunbeds, as advertised in the Yellow Pages in South Africa, by region and year, with percentage decrease, 2010-14 (where applicable)
Table 2: Yellow pages regional data (2010-2014) for numbers of new “beauty” facilities specifically mentioning sunbeds for each year compared to the previous year/s
Table 3: Number of web-advertised “beauty” facilities with sunbeds
Figure 1: Map of South Africa illustrating the Yellow Pages regions. Lesotho and Swaziland are the two white countries on left and right, respectively. (Permission to use this graphic was obtained from its producer ‘Trudon Business’)