Cancer society wants Ontario crackdown on fake tanning
Published Tuesday, June 21, 2011 6:16PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, May 19, 2012 5:08AM EDT
The Canadian Cancer Society is wading into Ontario's provincial election, calling for all political parties to commit to indoor tanning restrictions for those under the age of 18.
Spokeswoman Joanne Di Nardo says the society is asking all political parties to promise to introduce restrictions if they are elected on Oct. 6, and crack down on advertising by indoor tanning companies directed at youth.
"Political parties need to act on this important health issue now to protect young Ontarians," Di Nardo said in a statement.
The Cancer Society says indoor tanning equipment emits ultraviolet radiation that is five times stronger than the summer sun. The International Agency for Research on Cancer says it is a known human carcinogen and has been categorized among the highest cancer risks.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer says that using a tanning bed before the age of 35 can increase a person's risk of developing skin cancer by as much as 75 per cent.
Melanoma, one of the most common forms of cancer for those between 19 and 29 years old, is mostly preventable.
The Canadian Cancer Society says an Ipsos-Reid poll conducted earlier this month suggests 83 per cent of Ontario residents support a ban on fake tanning by youths.
The poll also found that 73 per cent of Ontarians feel the tanning industry cannot be trusted to regulate itself.
Both Nova Scotia and the city of Victoria have already enacted legislation restricting youth tanning.
Dr. Cheryl Rosen, head of dermatology at Toronto Western Hospital, suggested indoor tanning should be banned altogether, but that young people should especially be protected.
"There is no safe way to tan," she said.
The Society also requested limiting environmental and occupational carcinogens, and improving access to cancer drugs, be made election issues.