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Friday, January 25, 2013
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For Immediate Release Media Contact: Steve Gilroy Joint Canadian Tanning Association 800-915-0367 CANADIAN INDOOR TANNING INDUSTRY BEST AT TEACHING TEENAGERS SUNBURN PREVENTION JAN. 23 – New research suggests that the Canadian professional indoor tanning industry is best serving the public health interests of Canadians by effectively teaching sunburn prevention and moderation, while the skin care industry’s antiquated agenda, of total sun avoidance, led by companies that market 365-day usage of sunscreen likely is hurting more people than it helps. “There has been so much research published in the past 12 months on the positive effects of sun exposure – much of it relating to the fact that sunlight exposure is the body’s natural and most reliable way to produce vitamin D,” JCTA Executive Director Steve Gilroy said. “At a time when the skin-care industry continues to tell people to avoid the sun, our message of moderation and sunburn prevention is working better than ever.” Groups linked to the skin care industry recently have suggested that those under 18 should be totally prohibited from tanning in indoor tanning salons. “Research and common sense both show that approach would lead to more sunburns – not less,” JCTA’s Gilroy said. JCTA believes professional tanning facilities’ role is to assist parents in teaching teenagers moderate UV exposure and sunburn avoidance. “To tell parents and teenagers to totally avoid the sun to avoid skin damage is like telling people to stop drinking water to avoid drowning – it’s conspicuous deception,” Gilroy said. “People know they need sunlight in their lives. We’re teaching the most-responsible message.” A majority of Canadians agree with JCTA’s approach, according to research a survey conducted in late 2006 by Toronto-based Pollara Strategic Public Opinion and Market Research, an independent research firm. Nearly two-thirds of Canadian adults who answered the survey agreed teenagers should be able to tan in salons with their parent’s consent – the current industry standard. This approach best matches current science on the subject: • Studies have shown that teenagers who tan in salons are less likely to sunburn outdoors compared to non-tanners. • 83 percent of teenagers who tan indoors prior to taking sunny vacations report that their indoor tan, combined with the proper use of sunscreen, helped them to prevent sunburn. • 72 percent of teenagers who currently tan indoors say they would simply tan more aggressively outdoors– both of which are more likely to produce sunburns – if they were not able to tan indoors. There is no data to suggest that tanning is more dangerous for any specific age group. Photobiology suggests that burning (not tanning) at an early age could increase the risk of skin damage later in life. As discussed, indoor tanners sunburn less than non-tanners, including teen-agers who tan outdoors. “Indoor tanning facilities today are at the forefront in teaching teenagers outdoor sunburn prevention, including the proper use of sunscreens to prevent sunburn outdoors,” JCTA President Doug McNabb said. “The research is catching up to what the Canadian professional indoor tanning industry has always taught and believed: moderation is the key.” In sunlight-starved Canada, 97 percent of Canadians are Vitamin D deficient at some point in the year, according to University of Calgary research. Because 90 percent of Vitamin D is produced naturally when skin is exposed to UVB present in sunshine, there is growing consensus in the scientific community that humans cannot get adequate vitamin D from diet or supplements alone. “The extreme messaging from the skin care industry to “abstain from all UV exposure” has likely increased the magnitude of vitamin D deficiency,” McNabb said. “Given the human race has evolved being regularly exposed to UV light it only makes sense that a message of moderation would have been the more responsible advice. Exposure to UV light is the way our bodies were naturally and biologically designed to produce vitamin D. JCTA is a Canada-wide non-profit association representing professional tanning facilities. JCTA members follow the principles of Smart Tanning and teach Canadians how to maximize the benefits of UV exposure while minimizing the manageable risks of too much or too little UV exposure. EDITOR’S NOTE: For fact sheets with material supporting JCTA’s position, please contact JCTA Executive Director Steve Gilroy at 800-915-0367.