The Canadian Cancer Society is urging all Ontario political parties to commit to new legislation restricting indoor tanning for those under 18. According to an Ipsos Reid poll conducted this month, 83 per cent of Ontario residents support an all-out ban on tanning salons by minors.
Nova Scotia and the city of Victoria have already enacted legislation, while Sarnia city council has been asked to take similar action.
Cancer Society spokeswoman Joanne Di Nardo says all political parties must commit to limit advertising by indoor tanning salons directed at teens.
She says it is up to the government to protect the health of youth who are exposing themselves to what the International Agency for Research on Cancer referred to as a "known human carcinogen". Tanning beds can emit ultraviolet radiation at levels five times stronger than the primetime summer sun. Using a tanning bed before the age of 35 can increase a person's chance of developing skin cancer by as much as 75 per cent.
"There is no safe way to tan," said Dr. Cheryl Rosen, head of dermatology at Toronto Western Hospital. Melanoma skin cancer is reputed to be one of the most common forms of cancer for youth between 15 and 29.
Repeat after me: pale is pretty.