Media Releases

Regulating the Indoor Tanning Industry

Friday, January 25, 2013
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Statement from Steve Gilroy

Executive Director, Joint Canadian Tanning Association

There is no one more concerned with professional standards than our members.

The Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA) has been calling for provincial standards to formalize voluntary industry practices already in place in professional salons, including:

  • parental consent for everyone under 18
  • mandatory protective eyewear
  • skin typing every client correctly
  • salon operator training and certification
  • equipment controlled by certified operators
  • barring customers that are Skin Type 1 (always burn, never tan)
  • banning self-serve tanning equipment

Health agencies seldom mention professional salons. Instead the focus is always about tanning equipment. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO). The IARC report does not – as has been widely misreported – show a blanket 75% increase of risk for melanoma from commercial tanning units for people under age 35.

When home (40% increased risk) and medical tanning units (96% increased risk) are removed from the IARC data, the weighted increase of risk is only 6% for commercial sunbeds, which includes Skin Type I individuals, who are screened from UV tanning in professional Canadian tanning facilities. Removing Skin Type I cases from the studies eliminates the increase in risk entirely and may actually show UV tanners have a lower risk in this data set. The IARC data was most recently reviewed by Dr. Mia Papas at the 3rd North American Congress of Epidemiology in Montreal, June 21-24, 2011.

What else is included in WHO group along with sunbeds; sunlight, phototherapy for cosmetic skin conditions, birth control bills. This grouping doesn’t identify what the dosage is to cause the increase risk.

The key is moderation.


Steve Gilroy

1.800.915.0367 ext 1

M: 250.863.8765