Ban tanning beds for teens
May 6 marks the second annual Melanoma Monday in Canada. The goal of the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) is to raise awareness about melanoma-the eighth most common form of cancer in Canada, according to the CDA.
Young people are especially at risk when they use tanning beds: Use of indoor tanning equipment before age 35 increases the risk of getting melanoma by 75 percent. In fact, the World Health Organization puts indoor tanning in its highest cancer risk category-carcinogenic to humans”-alongside substances such as tobacco and arsenic. We’ve been on top of this issue since our 2009 article, “Let’s Outlaw Tanning Beds for Teens.”
Health Canada announced in February that it intends to strengthen warnings. Tanning beds would have the messages “Not recommended for use by those under 18 years of age” and “Tanning equipment can cause cancer,” as well as list risks such as skin and eye burns.
At press time, Health Canada’s draft proposal was open for public comment; decisions on the mandatory warnings could be announced later this year.
But it’s still up to each province and territory to regulate use, including age restrictions, says Sara Lauer, a spokesperson for Health Canada. Here’s where each province stands: