Ontario could be the next province to ban minors from using tanning beds. The province’s Health Minister Deb Matthews says she will bring forward legislation Thursday that would prevent persons under the age of 18 from using tanning beds.
In the wake of a potential “teen ban” on tanning beds, The Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA), responds as the representative voice for Canada’s professional salon sector.
“Ontario’s professional salon sector is disappointed that this legislation was brought forward,” says JCTA President, Doug McNabb. “JCTA salons have long instituted standards which restrict access for youth, unfortunately due to the actions of a few bad apples within our industry who do not share the JCTA’s commitment to client protection, the government has felt the need to respond.”
Oakville, Ontario has already banned minors from using tanning beds, after they passed a bylaw that prevents those 18 and under from using them.
If the ban were to go through, Ontario would join Nova Scotia and Manitoba who have already banned those under legal age from using tanning salons. However in Manitoba, under-agers are still allowed to tan if they have written consent from their parents.
Quebec has also introduced legislation that could ban minors from using tanning salons, and British Columbia is planning to introduce similar legislation.
The JCTA says it already mandates professional control over UV light exposure, age-based restrictions and the continuing education of salon workers. They also say that teenagers only make up for two to five per cent of its clientele. However, it is not mandatory for salons to join the JCTA, which is a not-for-profit organization.
According to the Canadian Cancer Foundation, any use of indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 has been found to increase the risk of melanoma (skin cancer) by 75 per cent.
If the ban were to go through, it would require tanning facilities to ask for identification for anyone who appears to be under 25, and would also prohibit any advertising for tanning beds targeted at those 18 and under.