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INDOOR TAN BAN

- Health Unit to Educate and Enforce New Rules That Ban Teens Under Age 18 From Using Indoor Tanning Beds -

While stressing the importance of summer sun safety, local health officials are also moving to shed more light on the recent Ontario law that bans teens from using indoor tanning beds.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit will soon launch an education campaign to ensure area residents, as well as tanning salons and businesses in Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes, are complying with the Skin Cancer Prevention Act.

The law went into effect in May 2014, and is probably best known for banning Ontario youth under the age of 18 years from using indoor tanning beds. However, the Act also: prohibits the marketing of tanning services to youth, requires tanning bed operators to request identification from anyone who appears to be under age 25, and sets fines for operators who fail to comply. Public Health Inspectors will investigate complaints and enforce the Skin Cancer Prevention Act.

“We want to promote the new rules to customers and tanning bed salon operators, and assist them in understanding how the new regulations will affect them,” says Elsie Azevedo (RD), a Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Co-ordinator with the HKPR District Health Unit. “In the end, reducing access to tanning beds will significantly help to reduce the risk of young people developing skin cancer.”

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, people who expose their skin to ultraviolet (UV) rays, whether from the sun, tanning beds or sun lamps, increase their chances of getting skin cancer. Research shows that people who are exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 years have an increased risk of melanoma (skin cancer).

Despite these concerns, a 2012 Ipsos Reid poll conducted for the Canadian Cancer Society found that nearly a quarter of Ontario students have used tanning equipment at least once by the time they finish high school. The percentage of students using indoor tanning beds rose steadily and dramatically with age.

“Indoors or outdoors… whether from the sun or a tanning bed, there is no safe way to get a tan,” Azevedo notes. “Tanned skin is damaged skin, and even when the tan fades, the damage is still there.”

People can find out more information about the Skin Cancer Prevention Act, as well as other information about skin cancer prevention, by calling the Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 or visiting www.hkpr.on.ca .

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For more information, contact:

Elsie Azevedo, Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention Co-ordinator, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100.

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