Media Releases

Ontario’s tanning professionals act responsibly

Friday, January 25, 2013
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KELOWNA  — Members of the Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA) are saddened by the callous hit and run tactics used today by the Ontario branch of the Canadian Cancer Society to damage the tanning industry’s ongoing efforts to educate the public about tanning. The JCTA strongly disputes the credibility of damaging allegations that consumers are not being asked their ages or informed about health safety guidelines before they can tan at a professional tanning salon.

“The reality is that not one of the people employed by a youth marketing agency on behalf of the cancer society, actually stayed for a tanning session. If they had, they would have been asked to complete a client card which asks a person’s age and skin type. They would have received professional direction and guidance from the salon,” said JCTA Executive Director Steve Gilroy. “Canada’s indoor tanning industry welcomes every opportunity to discuss any concerns about its business practices. However, it’s extremely regrettable that after 12 years of trying to meet with the Canadian Cancer Society, it has ignored every attempt to openly discuss the issue with the industry. The covert actions taken to call for legislative controls on a responsible industry is regrettable,” Gilroy added. Indoor tanning facilities are at the forefront in teaching teenagers outdoor sunburn prevention, including the proper use of sunscreens to prevent sunburn outdoors. Research shows the potential risks from tanning are from overexposure or sunburning, not moderate tanning. More than 80 per cent of tanning facilities in Ontario have formally trained operators on duty. Insurance carriers require their covered businesses to complete formal training. Part of this training includes teaching outdoor sunburn prevention to teenagers and their parents. If this ban is enacted, teenagers will be denied access to this service and sunburn incidence will increase. There is no data to suggest that tanning is more dangerous for any specific age group. Photobiology and epidemiology – if analyzed correctly – all suggest that burning (not tanning) at an early age could increase risk later in life. – more – – 2 – Because the JCTA favours constructive solutions that are in the best interest of public health, the professional indoor tanning community supports the parental consent for anyone under 16 who wish to tan in salons. We support constructive efforts to bolster enforcement of this standard. 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. # # # Contact: Steve Gilroy, ATP Executive Director T: 800.915.0367 C: 250.863.8765