MP introduces bill on dangers of tanning
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.