Following the presentation of an indoor tanning report, The Board of Health accepted and carried a motion to formally endorse Bill 31, Skin Cancer Prevention Act, 2010. The Act prohibits the marketing and selling of indoor tanning services to youth under the age of nineteen.
Non-melanoma skin cancers are the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Ontario and the incidence of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, continues to increase. It is currently the third most common cancer in young women aged 15-29 years old. Young women are also the greatest users of indoor tanning services in Ontario, at 26 percent.
"We now know that indoor tanning equipment can cause skin cancer," says Dr. Mercer, Medical Officer of Health. "In fact, use of indoor tanning equipment before the age of 30 increases one's risk of melanoma by 75 percent. Given the high risk associated with indoor tanning, we support legislation to restrict access to these services by all youth under the age of 19."
At this time, the industry is unregulated in Canada. Bill 31 would:
•· restrict the marketing and selling of indoor tanning services to individuals under the age of 19;
•· require those who appear to be under the age of 25 to show appropriate identification;
•· require the Ministry to establish a registry regarding commercial use of tanning equipment;
•· require training of all staff in such establishments;
•· and, require signage informing consumers of the risks associated with the equipment.
Mercer adds, "This is one step we can take to reduce youth's unnecessary exposure to UV radiation and their risk to skin cancer".
Health Promotion Specialist
Chronic Disease & Injury Prevention Team
519.846.2715 or 1.800.265.7293 ext. 4658