Tanning and Legislation
The World Health Organization issued a recommendation to ban indoor tanning completely for those under 18 in 2009.19 Australia, Germany, England, France, Scotland, California, Vermont, New Jersey, and Oregon are all following this recommendation. In Canada, so are Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, British Columbia, Quebec, and some municipalities in Ontario. In fact, some places have banned tanning for all ages; Brazil and New South Wales in Australia! Maybe they’re on to something.
Crossing the guideline.
In 2005, Health Canada issued voluntary safety guidelines20 to the artificial tanning industry to prevent teens from being exposed to UV rays and increasing their risk of cancer. Their top recommendations were:
Anyone under the age of 16 should not use tanning equipment.
60% of tanning facilities did not ask the age of their customers.21
People with a skin type that is likely to burn should be advised not to tan.
99% of tanning facilities did not advise people with a high risk of burning not to tan.22
Tanning salon clients should be informed of Health Canada’s tanning safety guidelines.
96% of tanning facility employees did not tell their customers about the safe tanning guidelines.23
Many organizations in Alberta, including the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Dermatology Association, are calling for legislation that would ban the use of artificial tanning equipment by those under the age of 18. Without it, there’s no way to ensure all tanning salons are following Health Canada’s guidelines.