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Harper Government Introduces Stronger Health Warnings on Tanning Beds

February 24, 2013

OTTAWA, Feb. 24, 2013 /CNW/ – Today, the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq,
Minister of Health and MP James Bezan (Selkirk-Interlake, MB),
announced that Health Canada intends to strengthen its health warnings
about the dangers of tanning beds.

“The Harper Government is committed to protecting the health and safety
of Canadian families,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “Young adults should be
concerned about the health risks associated with the use of tanning
beds, including skin cancer. Today, we are proposing changes that would
require all tanning beds to display a health warning label to remind
Canadians of those risks.”

According to the World Health Organization, the risk of developing skin
melanoma increases by 75% when use of tanning beds starts before the
age of 35.

The announcement follows the posting of proposed changes to the
labelling requirements for tanning equipment under the Radiation Emitting Devices Regulations (RED) and a call for public comment on the proposal. The proposed
changes would require all tanning beds to display a health warning
decal with the following messages: “Not recommended for use by those
under 18 years of age” “Tanning Equipment Can Cause Cancer”, as well as
a bulleted list of other health risks associated with tanning.

“My wife is a melanoma cancer survivor and both of us used tanning beds.
That is why I am fighting one of the most deadly, but also most
preventable cancers,” said MP Bezan. “In the last two parliaments I
tabled Bills C-497 and C-386 that pushed for stronger regulations on
labelling and using tanning equipment. I urge all provinces to follow
British Columbia’s, Nova Scotia’s and Quebec’s lead by banning youth
from using this dangerous equipment.”

Health Canada regulates the sale, lease and import of tanning beds under
the Radiation Emitting Devices Act and Regulations. However, the regulation of tanning bed use in commercial establishments,
including age restrictions, falls under the jurisdiction of the
provinces and territories.  Eight of the 13 provinces/territories in
the country currently either regulate, or have expressed an intention
to regulate, access to tanning equipment by minors.

“Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, but it’s also one of the
most preventable,” said Pamela Fralick, President and CEO of the
Canadian Cancer Society. “The Canadian Cancer Society has called upon
all levels of government for strict regulation of the indoor tanning
industry. Stronger labelling and clearer information about the dangers
of tanning beds may reduce the number of young Canadians exposed to
this carcinogen, and this is an important step in the right direction.”

The 75-day public comment period on Health Canada’s draft proposal will
be completed in early May 2013 and the proposed regulatory changes are
expected to be posted to Canada Gazette, Part II later this year.

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INFORMATION
February 2013

Health Warning Messages on Tanning Beds

The Minister of Health announced proposed changes to the Radiation Emitting Devices Regulations (RED) that would strengthen the labelling requirements and the health
warning messages for tanning equipment.

The proposed changes to the RED regulations would require a health warning label be attached to all ultraviolet
emitting tanning equipment that displays the following messages: “Not
recommended for use by those under 18 years of age” and “Tanning
Equipment Can Cause Cancer”, as well as a bulleted list of other health
risks associated with tanning.

Proposed labels : http://files.newswire.ca/1043/dangerE.pdf

The proposed labels would replace current tanning equipment warning
labels, which display the statement “Ultraviolet radiation”

The World Health Organization reclassified tanning beds as
cancer-causing, stating that the risk of developing skin melanoma
increases by 75% when use of tanning beds starts before the age of 35.
The risks are cumulative, meaning there is an escalating risk with
total hours, sessions or years of tanning equipment use.  Age of first
use is also a factor: both an increased risk of developing melanoma and
early onset of the disease have been linked with age at first use of
tanning beds.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada, and melanoma is
its deadliest form.  While mortality rates have remained consistent in
Canada, killing one in five diagnosed, incidence of melanoma has
increased threefold between 1972 and 2006.

The proposed changes would align Health Canada’s labelling requirements
for tanning beds with emerging Provincial and Territorial regulations
regarding the usage of tanning equipment.

Eight of the 13 provinces/territories in the country currently either
regulate, or have expressed an intention to regulate, access to tanning
equipment by minors and oversight of commercial tanning facilities:

        --  In May 2011 Nova Scotia's Tanning Beds Act came into effect,
            making it illegal to provide access to tanning equipment to
            anyone under age 19.
        --  Manitoba introduced informed parental consent requirements for
            those under 18, which came into force on June 15, 2012.
        --  British Columbia introduced new regulations banning minors
            (under 18) from accessing tanning beds in tanning facilities
            effective October 15, 2012.
        --  Most recently, Quebec banned the use of tanning beds for those
            under 18, which came into effect February 11, 2013.
        --  Other provinces and territories, including Ontario,
            Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, and the
            Northwest Territories have either passed legislation that has
            yet to come into force or announced their intent to regulate
            the use of tanning equipment.

Health Canada advises Canadians that there is no such thing as a safe or
healthy tan, whether under the sun or in a tanning bed.

The most up-to-date scientific evidence shows that exposure to
ultraviolet A and B radiation can cause sunburn, damage to your eyes
and other health effects, including an increased risk of skin cancer.

Health Canada advises Canadians to take steps to avoid overexposure to
ultraviolet radiation.

For more information please visit Tanning and its Effects on Your Health.

SOURCE Health Canada


Source: PR Newswire