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Sun Safety

Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds)

Tanning Beds

There is no difference in a tan produced by the sun or from tanning equipment. UVR exposure from either the sun or tanning equipment increases the risk of skin cancer.

On May 1, 2014 the new Ontario Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds) which bans the use of tanning beds by youth under 18 years of age came into effect.

This legislation is important because it can help to prevent skin cancer.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has included tanning beds in its highest cancer risk category along with asbestos and tobacco. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has stated that tanning bed use increases the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma. That risk is 75% higher if tanning bed use begins before the age of 35. This legislation will reduce the likelihood of youth being exposed to UV radiation at a young age.

Remember no tan is a safe tan! Tanning causes skin cancer.

Sun-less Tanning Products

Sun-less tanning products or self-tanning products offer a tanned appearance without going out into the sun or using artificial UV radiation (tanning beds).

Classified by Health Canada as cosmetic, self-tanning products are available in many forms including:

  • lotions and creams
  • gels
  • mousses
  • cosmetic wipessprays 

Are they Safe?

There are no known health risks from correctly applied sun-less or self-tanning products, whether applied at home or professionally. However, they do not protect the skin from sun damage, so sun protection must be used as well. Some self-tanning products are combined with sunscreen but it’s important to read the label to ensure you’re choosing a product with an SPF of 30 or higher.

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