Model agencies in anti-sunbed drive

A string of major UK model agencies have united in fronting an anti-sunbed campaign at the start of London Fashion Week.

Directors at Storm, Elite, Next, Premier Model Management, Models 1, FM, Nevs, Oxygen, Union, First and D1 have all signed up to the initiative in conjunction with Cancer Research UK.

It means models who work for those agencies or who are considering joining them must agree to a zero tolerance policy on sunbed use.

It ties in with Cancer Research UK's R UV UGLY? campaign, which aims to highlight the dangers of using sunbeds on appearance and health.

Sarah Doukas, Managing Director of Storm Model Management, said: "Supporting this campaign makes perfect sense as the wellbeing of our models is of paramount importance and we take a serious approach to their health."

Using a sunbed for the first time before the age of 35 increases the risk of malignant melanoma, the

most serious form of skin cancer, by 75 percent. Melanoma is the second most common cancer among 15-34 year olds.

Chris Lunn, SunSmart campaign manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Using sunbeds can make your

skin coarse, leathery and wrinkly. The UV rays from a sunbed can also damage the DNA in your skin. Over time, this damage can build up and may lead to melanoma, the most serious type of skin cancer. So, if you feel you must have a tan, it is better to fake it."

Picture credit: Rex Features