Tanning is one of the biological effects that occur in the skin following exposure to UV radiation. Tanning is the body’s protective response against injury incurred by the skin from radiation exposure.
Following a systematic review performed by the International Agency for Research On Cancer (IARC) Working Group, the agency recommends avoidance of sunbed use before 30 years of age. Enforcement of a restriction of access to sunbeds for those individuals less than 18 years of age could have a beneficial impact on melanoma incidence.
From the IARC website:
"An IARC Working Group has classified UV-emitting tanning devices as carcinogenic to humans. The combined analysis of over 20 epidemiological studies shows that the risk of cutaneous melanoma is increased by 75% when the use of tanning devices starts before age 30.
There is also sufficient evidence of an increased risk of ocular melanoma associated with the use of tanning devices. Studies in experimental animals support these conclusions and demonstrate that ultraviolet radiation (UVA, UVB, and UVC) is carcinogenic to humans.These findings reinforce current recommendations by the World Health Organization to avoid sunlamps and tanning parlours and to protect yourself from overexposure to the sun."
Health Canada has published a guideline in collaboration with the Federal Provincial Territorial Radiation Protection Committee entitled Guidelines for Tanning Salon Owners, Operators and Users designed to provide fundamental knowledge of ultraviolet radiation and its effects on people.
Tanning beds in Canada are regulated by the federal Radiation Emitting Devices Regulations and must meet certain criteria for construction standards, labeling, and consumer information. Manufacturers, importers, distributors and other persons need to be aware of these regulations. For further information contact Health Canada's Healthy Living department.
UV Overexposure Warning sign
to be posted in plain view of customers prior to undergoing ultraviolet exposure.