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Joint Canadian Tanning Association Asks Canadian Dermatology Association to Correct Vitamin D Misrepresentation

Friday, January 25, 2013
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KELOWNA, B.C. –The Joint Canadian Tanning Association is reinforcing its campaign that suggests the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) should correct its ongoing public denial of the fact that indoor tanning is an abundant source of vitamin D – an obvious error that the CDA has repeated on several occasions, despite scientific evidence to prove the contrary. Last week, the JCTA launched as part of Tan Awareness Week to dispel some of myths concerning tanning, including the CDA’s oft-repeated error. “This is not a subjective error of interpretation – the CDA is misrepresenting an undisputed biologic fact that ultraviolet light exposure, specifically UVB is the body’s natural way of producing vitamin D,” said Doug McNabb, president of the Joint Canadian Tanning Association. McNabb, along with CDA spokesperson Dr. Lynn Guenther, were interviewed together on CBC Radio One on Wednesday. Dermatologists are engaging in semantic deception, McNabb stated. “We continue to hear the statement ‘tanning beds emit primarily UVA and it is UVB that is needed to produce vitamin D’ repeated in the majority of comments made by the dermatology community when asked about tanning and vitamin D.

That is extremely misleading.” Here are the facts: • UVB light makes up about 5 percent of summer mid-day sunlight in Canada – about the same as most indoor tanning equipment. • Guenther alleged yesterday that since indoor tanning equipment emits primarily UVA that it wasn’t a good source of vitamin D. “That’s such an ignorant statement — outdoor sunlight is primarily UVA too,” McNabb said. “What’s important is the 5 percent of UVB indoors and outdoors in the summer. A little B goes a long way.” In the interview, McNabb attempted to correct Guenther, but she did not retract her statement. “Even Health Canada officially recognizes that indoor tanning beds that emit UVB are a source of vitamin D,” McNabb said. “Indoor tanning equipment was invented in Europe specifically for therapeutic purposes. For the CDA to continue to deny this – in the face of several attempts through the years to correct them on this fact – is inexplicable. The CDA’s error regarding the denial of UVB as the body’s most-effective way of producing vitamin D is not without consequence: An estimated 97 percent of Canadians are vitamin D deficient – thanks to Canada’s northerly latitudes and relatively weak sun exposure through most of the year. In the fall, winter and spring sunlight in Canada contains little or no UVB, making natural vitamin D formation impossible four to six months out of the year in Canada. Peer reviewed research has shown that indoor tanning clients have 90 percent higher vitamin D levels as compared to non-tanners. A typical indoor tanning session produces more than 10,000 international units of vitamin D, according to Dr. Reinhold Vieth, vitamin D expert at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. That’s one-hundred times more than an 8-ounce glass of milk. “The tanning community is teaching a balanced message about UV light,” McNabb said. “We want people to avoid overexposure and burning and to enjoy the benefits of regular moderate exposure.” About the JCTA The Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA) is a national non-profit organization created to increase understanding of the professional tanning industry’s scientifically supported position that regular moderate ultraviolet exposure from sunshine or sunbeds in a non-burning fashion is part of a responsible lifestyle that recognizes both the inherent benefits and the manageable risks associated with ultraviolet light exposure. – 30 – For more information, please contact: Steve Gilroy, ATP Executive Director JCTA T: 800.915.0367 C: 250.863.8765 E: