Ottawa will soon require tanning beds to post warning labels

Violet glowing indoor tanning beds will soon have to post warning labels similar to the graphic alerts placed on cigarette packaging.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq recently said Health Canada will soon require that tanning beds and their stores post warnings about skin cancer and other potential dangers of using the beds.

DSC_0263Last year in April the province of Ontario reintroduced the Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Bill 74) in order to protect youth under the age of 18 from the risks and dangers associated with tanning beds.

The law also required that tanning facilities post health warnings and age restrictions in clear view of costumers.  A few months later Quebec and Oakville, Ontario banned the beds for youth under 18.

Australia, Germany and Brazil also have bans or age restrictions put on tanning beds.

Tanning beds emit ultraviolet radiation, 97 per cent UVA and 3 per cent UVB, from fluorescent lamps with phosphor blends to produce a tan after laying or standing in the booth.

Tanning salons can be found  in malls and strip-malls, and inside gyms such as GoodLife Fitness, which offers a complimentary first session and a skin assessment to determine your skin type and how long it will take to achieve the best results.

According to Health Canada:

The most up-to-date scientific evidence shows there is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan, whether under the sun or in a tanning bed. It is important to take steps to avoid overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. Exposure to ultraviolet A and B radiation can cause sunburn, damage to your eyes and other health effects, including an increased risk of skin cancer.

Health Canada does not recommend the use of tanning equipment (especially for people under the age of 18). However, if you choose to sun tan or to use tanning beds or lamps, you should be aware of the health risks so you can take steps to protect yourself.

Not only does indoor tanning cause premature aging, it increases the risk of cancers inducing the most preventable of all, skin cancer.

A public comment period on the proposals for the new tanning bed laws will finish in early May and regulations are expected to be posted later this year.

skin cancer
Skin Cancer Guide, an Infographic by Linchpin Web Design

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