MP in­tro­duces bill on dan­gers of tanning

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY MIA RAB­SON

es­ti­mated 940 Cana­di­ans would die of malig­nant melanoma in 2009.

Last July, the In­ter­na­tional Agency for Re­search on Can­cer of the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion moved tanning beds into its high­est can­cer risk cat­e­gory and called them “car­cino­genic to hu­mans.”

Bezan said he sup­ports the call the Cana­dian Der­ma­tol­ogy As­so­ci­a­tion made Feb. 1 to bar any­one un­der 18 from us­ing a tanning bed.

But he said the tanning sa­lons are li­censed by the prov­inces, so bar­ring kids from us­ing them has to be done at a pro­vin­cial level.

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment con­trols the warn­ing la­bels, and Bezan hopes his bill will im­prove on in­ad­e­quate la­belling cur­rently in place.

He cited a 2007 study by the Cana­dian Can­cer So­ci­ety that found more than eight in 10 tanning sa­lons in the Toronto area did not have warn­ing la­bels that could be eas­ily seen by users.

Steve Gil­roy, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Joint Cana­dian Tanning As­so­ci­a­tion, said Canada up­dated the la­belling re­quire­ments for tanning beds in 2005.

“ We have one of the most up-to­date la­bels in the world,” he said. “It’s in full colour.”

Gil­roy said his as­so­ci­a­tion rec­og­nizes that too much tanning is bad for you and doesn’t rec­om­mend tanning to peo­ple who are ex­tremely fair skinned. But he said in proper amounts, tanning is ac­tu­ally help­ful.

“Ev­ery­thing in mod­er­a­tion,” Gil­roy said. “It’s like a glass of wine a day is good for you, but a bot­tle of wine isn’t.”

His as­so­ci­a­tion cites re­search stud­ies that say not get­ting enough vi­ta­min D — which we get from the sun or tanning beds — is prob­lem­atic and can lead to in­creased risk for cer­tain can­cers, asthma at­tacks or even per­haps sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to a flu virus.

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