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Joint Canadian Tanning Association: Canadian Cancer Society misrepresented melanoma data in call for new regulations

Friday, January 25, 2013
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KELOWNA, BC, Dec. 8 /CNW/ -The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) and other lobbyists misrepresented melanoma research in a press release today, misapplying statistics gathered from studies of unsupervised home tanning units and falsely alleging that they apply to professional indoor tanning facilities in Canada.

The CCS today called for the Capital Region District (CRD) to support a new bylaw to ban indoor tanning for those under 18 years old. If passed, surveys show up to 75 per cent of those minors would turn to unsupervised usage of home tanning units as an alternative.

The Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA) today invited the Canadian Cancer Society and members of the CRD to join them in a public forum in January to discuss the issue in greater detail before any legislation moves forward. CRD’s public hearings on this topic thus far have limited discussion and have not allowed all the science to be examined in an open setting.

Of particular concern: CCS and others are misrepresenting data findings of a 2009 review paper published by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Data in the report actually implicate home tanning units and medical usage of tanning equipment to treat cosmetic skin conditions as the risk factors – not commercial indoor tanning.

Close analysis of data from the IARC report — when separated by unsupervised home usage of tanning equipment verses usage in indoor tanning facilities and medical usage of tanning equipment in doctor’s offices – reveals that no statistically significant increase in risk (6 percent) was attributable to commercial tanning facility usage (OR = 1.06; 95% CI: 0.89-1.24), while larger increases (40 per cent and 96 per cent) were attributable to home (OR = 1.40; 95% CI: 1.17-1.66); and medical usage of tanning equipment (OR = 1.96; 95% CI: 0.89-4.33).

Further review of the IARC data show that there was no connection between indoor tanning usage and melanoma for people with skin types dark enough to tan. The only connection was with people with “Skin Type I” who tan in Europe for therapeutic reasons but who are screened from tanning in North American facilities. (Grant WB, “Critique of IARC Meta-Analysis of the Association of Sunbed Use with the Risk of Melanoma. Dermato-Endocrinology 1:6, 1-7; Nov./Dec. 2009).

The JCTA, attempting to cooperate with the CRD and with governments across Canada, has proposed an alternative plan which includes parental consent for ages 18 and under along with a full set of regulations for all ages. In a recent study of CRD area households with children, 62% favor parental consent over the proposed ban.

For further information:EDITOR’S NOTE: For more information please contact:
JCTA Executive Director Steve Gilroy at 800-915-0367 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              800-915-0367      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or