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Tanning Association: Teen Ban Disappointing, Real Need Is Stronger Professional Standards

Friday, January 25, 2013
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KELOWNA, BC – The Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA) acknowledges the Province’s decision to ban UV suntanning for clients under the age of 18, but believes the government should also act on the tanning industry’s request to formally adopt other constructive standards for the market.

The JCTA was one of the organizations BC Health Minister Mike de Jong consulted as part of the Indoor Tanning Working Group.

“We’re disappointed and believe the ban the Province has announced goes too far. Parents guide their children everyday as it relates to sun exposure. Given that the World Health Organization lists UV exposure whether indoors or outdoors in the same classification we felt that a very stringent parental consent regulation was the more appropriate approach.” says JCTA Executive Director Steven Gilroy.

Gilroy, who owns a Sunlight Centre in West Kelowna, says JCTA members provide a controlled service to thousands of British Columbians across the province.

“The problem is not the sunbed itself,” Gilroy said. “It’s a minority of self-serve (swipe card/coin operated) and unmanned sunbeds in non-professional locations that, unlike the professional market, lack trained and certified operators controlling the equipment.”

Professional salons are trained to identify a client’s skin type and to identify fair-skinned clients (Type I -always burn, never tan) who cannot use UV tanning equipment.

“That’s why our Association has put together comprehensive training and guidelines for our members. And that’s why we’ve been talking to governments across the country about the need for constructive professional regulation and certification of sunbed operators.”

Gilroy says JCTA will continue to work with the B.C. Government to pursue regulations that will ensure all tanning facilities have to follow the same guidelines so that people can continue using their services with confidence. We also hope that the B.C. government will apply the same regulations to equipment used by dermatologists to treat cosmetic skin conditions like psoriasis and acne. According to the World Health Organization these types of equipment present the highest risk of all UV emitting equipment. Curiously, this type of equipment has been excluded from prior regulations proposed by municipal governments in B.C.

“Providing our clients with top quality service is our number one priority, and we hope that Government will work with us to make B.C. a leader on this issue.”

About the Joint Canadian Tanning Association

Founded in 2002, the 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 sunbed, 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. provides a balance to the messaging Canadians receive regarding sun exposure and sunbeds.


 edia contact:

Steven Gilroy

Joint Canadian Tanning Association