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Canadian Tanning Association Applauds Study Showing Sunbeds Make Vitamin D in the Real World

Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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Canadian Tanning Association Applauds Study Showing Sunbeds Make Vitamin D in the Real World


Joint Canadian Tanning Association

09:00 ET

KELOWNA, BCNov. 22, 2017 /CNW/ – The Canadian sunbed salon community hopes new Canadian research showing that typical sunbeds in professional tanning salons trigger vitamin D production will once-and-for-all end confusion on this subject.

Canadian vitamin D researchers Dr. Samantha Kimbell and Dr. Reinhold Veith conducted the study – the first in the world to use sunbeds in professional tanning salons using standard tanning salon exposure protocols. Previous studies on this topic, which also showed that sunbeds trigger vitamin D production, used sunbeds in laboratories.

“We want to thank our Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA) member salons for working with Dr. Kimbell and taking part in this project,” said Steven Gilroy, executive director of the JCTA. “We are pleased that, following our standard protocol, no one reported any sunburns in this study and tanners who used regular equipment emitting UVB and UVA light increased their vitamin D levels significantly.”

Most sunbeds emit both UVB and UVA light – similar to summer sunlight in Canada. The UV portion of summer sunshine at noon in most of Canada is about 95% UVA and 5% UVB. The UVB portion is what triggers vitamin D production in the skin. Wintertime sun exposure at northern latitudes in Canada (above 44⁰N) does not contain sufficient UVB to stimulate vitamin D synthesis because of the angle of the sun. There had been considerable confusion about this.

Three JCTA member tanning salons took part in the study. Participants were tanning clients who had not tanned for more than 60 days prior to the beginning of the study. Salons followed standard exposure regimens for new tanning clients, as established by manufacturers following Health Canada sunbed regulations. Vitamin D levels were recorded at the start and approximately every four weeks.

A typical base tan (photoprotection) is created in four weeks following a standard graduated exposure schedule. Dr. Kimbell reported that Vitamin D blood levels continued to climb for the 12-week test period, demonstrating that the emergence of a tan did not  stop vitamin D production in the skin.

Study Highlights:

  1. Sunbeds that emit UVB light similar to summer sunlight increased clients’ vitamin D levels to those found naturally in the  summer.
  2. Following the recommended exposure schedules based on each client’s skin type researchers reported no sunburning or other adverse events detected when skin color measurements were made.
  3. The current study shows that artificially produced UVB light sources that mimic sunlight, in this case fluorescent sunbed lamps with 2.2% and 4.2% UVB, could be a surrogate for sunlight when the UV index is low in northern countries for vitamin D production.
  4. Testing was done in winter and early spring to make sure there was no confounding outdoor UVB exposure.
  5. According to standard lab testing results for vitamin D in Canada (minimum 75nmol/L), more than 75% of the participants were vitamin D insufficient at the start of the research project.
  6. Mean vitamin D levels were increased by an average of 42 nmol/L in the sunbeds that used 100W and 160W fluorescents, the researchers reported.

Statistics Canada reports, 38% of Canadians or approximately 14 million people have vitamin D levels below 50 nmol/L, the level recommended by Health Canada. More than 48 vitamin D scientists recommend that you maintain a vitamin D blood level year round between 100-150 nmol/L for optimal health.

About the Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA):

The JCTA represents sunbed facilities, suppliers and manufacturers serving the Canadian sunbed community. JCTA has cooperated with governments in Canada to create standards for tanning facilities, and JCTA members adhere to professional standards, including staff certification training to ensure that operators properly control, sanitize and maintain sunbed equipment and that clients are correctly tanned according to their skin type.

SOURCE Joint Canadian Tanning Association

For further information: JCTA Executive Director Steven Gilroy is available for interviews. By phone: 1.800.915.0367, By Email: