MONTREAL, March 4, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Option consommateurs today
launched its research report entitled Spotlight on Tanning Salons. In line with its mission to defend the rights and interests of
consumers, the organization conducted interviews with 45 frequent users
of tanning salons and made 20 incognito visits to salons in Ontario and
Quebec in order to shed light on current practices in the artificial
Health and safety: Users are under-informed
According to Quebec's Institut National de Santé publique, over 250,000 Quebecers under the age of 30 attended such salons at
least once a month in 2011. In its report, however, Option
consommateurs found that the majority of those who use tanning salons
minimize the risk of exposure, pay scant attention to instructions and
warnings and imagine that the radiation emitted by tanning devices is
less harmful than that emitted by the sun, which is not always the
These erroneous perceptions are not surprising considering that many
customers rely on the advice of the staff of tanning salons for their
information. During its investigation, Option consommateurs concluded
that this information is often inadequate. What is worse is that most
of the employees did not hesitate to offer several sessions to our
fair-skinned investigator, who also claimed to be taking
antidepressants — two clear counter-indications. In addition, certain
salons in Quebec open their doors to minors, in violation of the law.
Finally, the vast majority of salons visited by Option consommateurs'
investigators do not comply with the Health Canada's Radiation Emitting Devices Regulations. For example, the labels and accessories that are required in the
cabins are either absent or difficult to find.
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common
type of cancer in Canada and in 90% of cases is caused by ultraviolet
radiation. What is more, the World Health Organization has announced
that the rays emitted by tanning devices may be more harmful than those
emitted by the sun.
Option consommateurs is concerned about this situation and recommends
that federal and provincial governments amend the current legal
framework by adding a provision requiring operators of tanning salons
to verbally inform users of tanning devices of the risks associated
with their use. The operator should also instruct them on the safest
way to use these devices, including informing them of exposure times
and the recommended interval between sessions.
Option consommateurs also recommends that operators of tanning salons be
obliged to issue all their customers a guide informing them of the
risks associated with artificial tanning. It should also be prohibited
to disseminate messages associating artificial tanning with health
To consult this report, visit this hyperlink. Option consommateurs received funding for this report under Industry
Canada's Program for Non-Profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations.
The opinions expressed in this report are not necessarily those of
Industry Canada or of the Government of Canada.
About Option consommateurs
Founded in 1983, Option consommateurs is a not-for-profit association
whose mission is to defend the rights and interests of consumers and to
ensure that they are respected. It closely monitors issues related to
business practices, financial services, the energy sector and the
agri-food industry and does not hesitate to initiate class actions
suits whenever warranted.
SOURCE: Option consommateurs
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