Canadian Cancer Society applauds Peel Region on banning youth from indoor tanning facilities
28 September 2012
Yesterday, the Region of Peel passed the toughest municipal by-law in the province, banning teens under the age of 18 from indoor tanning salons and levying heavy fines against salon operators who do not comply.
The Canadian Cancer Society is pleased that the Region of Peel has taken action on this important public health issue because the ultraviolet radiation (UVR) emitted by indoor tanning equipment has been proven to cause cancer. In July, an expert review of current research published in the British Medical Journal showed that people who first started using indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 have an 87 per cent increased risk of melanoma skin cancer.
The Canadian Cancer Society and its volunteers have been advocating at all levels of government for action on this issue for more than six years. One such volunteer is Mary Jane Hanley of Mississauga who has met with elected officials and written letters to the editor, all to bring attention to the issue. Hanley was in attendance in the council chambers when the region passed the by-law. “Through the years, much time and effort has been put in to move this important issue forward. It was exciting to see the by-law passed. I know it will go a long way to protect the health of young people in Peel Region,” says Hanley.
The Region of Peel becomes the second municipality in Ontario, after Oakville to enact a by-law which restricts youth under the age of 18 from indoor tanning facilities. Earlier this month, Premier Dalton McGuinty announced plans to adopt NDP Health Critic France Gélinas’ Private Member’s bill which aims to ban youth under 18 from using indoor tanning equipment across the province.
“Peel Region’s by-law is another step forward in the fight against skin cancer and sends a clear message that compliance is mandatory or salon operators will be fined,” says Florentina Stancu-Soare, Public Issues Senior Coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society in Ontario. “Peel is taking a tough stance against an industry which is in dire need of regulation,” Stancu-Soare adds.
The Region of Peel intends to fine salon operators $10,000 for the first offence and $25,000 for subsequent offences. Enforcement will be done through municipal enforcement officers, or public health inspectors acting under the direction of the Region’s Medical Officer of Health.
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.