TORONTO, June 12 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society supports Bill 83,
which will help prevent skin cancer in Ontario but looks for additional
measures to protect youth from exposure to ultraviolet radiation, a known
The private member's bill, introduced by the MPP for London-Fanshawe,
will receive second reading in the Ontario Legislature today.
"We congratulate MPP Khalil Ramal for addressing an important public
health issue," says Irene Gallagher, Manager, Public Issues, Ontario Division,
Canadian Cancer Society. "We agree that young people should be prevented from
accessing artificial tanning facilities."
"We hope the regulations outlined in the Bill are only the first step in
the multi-pillar approach needed to address the risk of artificial tanning in
Ontario," says Gallagher.
The Society and its volunteers have been advocating not only for a ban on
the use of artificial tanning equipment by youth but also for the government
of Ontario to develop and maintain a registry of artificial tanning equipment
in use in Ontario. A registry is necessary for effective enforcement of any
sort of age restriction on artificial tanning.
"The use of artificial tanning among youth is especially troubling
because a person's sun exposure is cumulative and in most cases the majority
of lifetime exposure occurs by age 18," says Gallagher.
The Society also calls on government to put an end to tanning industry
marketing practices targeted at youth.
"We feel promotions such as prom specials and low-cost tanning packages
attract young patrons who may not have a full understanding of the risks
associated with artificial tanning," says Gallagher.
The Society also calls for regulations related to the training for staff
who operate tanning equipment. Currently, there is no Ontario standard for
training staff who operate tanning equipment.
"We believe it's important that staff are properly trained to help them
identify people who are at greater risk of burning, as well as maintenance of
the equipment," says Gallagher.
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of
volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the improvement of
the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more
about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual
Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
Ultraviolet radiation (UVR), emitted from both the sun and artificial
tanning equipment, is accepted as a human carcinogen.
In March 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a statement
calling for countries to place restrictions on the use of artificial tanning
equipment by children under the age of 18. The Canadian Cancer Society in
Ontario supports the WHO's recommendation, and is calling on the Government of
Ontario to ban the use of tanning beds by youth under 18 years of age.
A poll commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society in Ontario found that
more than 50,000 Ontario students have used a tanning bed.
Childhood exposure to UV rays and the number of times a child is burnt by
UV rays, are known to increase the risk of developing melanoma, the most
deadly of skin cancers, later in life.
Artificial tanning equipment can emit rays that are five times stronger
than the mid-day sun.
Skin cancer accounts for every one in three cancer diagnoses, is the
second most common cancer in young Ontarians aged 15-34 years of age, and is
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