Tanning guidelines fail to protect youth

06 March 2012

New Brunswick -

The majority of tanning salons in New Brunswick are failing to adhere to guidelines established by the Department of Health.


According to the results of an evaluation carried out by the Department of Health last fall, more than half (55%) of the salons evaluated for the minimum age compliance would have allowed someone under the age of 18 to use their tanning beds, despite the age restriction required in the guidelines. In addition, 75% had failed to display all mandatory health warnings.


“These results are troubling,” said Anne McTiernan-Gamble, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society New Brunswick. “The industry is clearly failing to self-regulate. It is time for the Province of New Brunswick to step in and enact legislation to better protect our youth from the harmful effects of tanning beds.”


Key findings in the verification report:

  • 54% of the salons evaluated did not have a copy of the guidelines, as required.
  • Only 10% had a copy of the Health Canada guidelines pertaining to tanning bed use, as required.
  • Although 89% of the salons kept client records (as required by the guidelines), only 49% recorded the age of their clients ;only 48% recorded the skin type of their clients and only 42% demonstrated a signed consent form – all required components of the record.


In 2009, the World Health Organization classified UV-emitting devices, including commercial tanning beds, as known carcinogens. Furthermore, research done by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) revealed that being exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 increases risk of melanoma. Indoor tanning devices can emit ultraviolet radiation at levels up to five times stronger than the midday summer sun.


“Melanoma skin cancer incidence rates in Canada continue to increase every year,” Ms. McTiernan-Gamble pointed out. In 2011, 5,600 Canadians were expected to be diagnosed with melanoma and about 950 were expected to die from the disease. In New Brunswick, there were an estimated 170 new cases of melanoma and an estimated 20 deaths.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Paula White

Manager, Communications, CCSNB

Phone: (506) 634-6040