Indoor Tanning is Out

Not only can the ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning beds cause premature aging, it also increases the risk of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Indoor tanning before the age of 35 has been associated with a significant increase in the risk of melanoma, and recently sunbeds (UV tanning beds) were moved up to the highest cancer risk category—group 1— ‘carcinogenic to humans’ by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Who is most at risk?

People with fair skin that tends to burn are at higher risk of problems from indoor tanning than those with darker skin. Young people also have delicate skin and are more likely to damage it by using sunbeds.

You should NEVER use a sunbed if you:

  • are under 18
  • have fair or freckly skin
  • burn easily
  • have a lot of moles
  • have had skin cancer in the past
  • have a family history of skin cancer
  • use medication that increases your sensitivity to UV

“Through its Sun Awareness Program, CDA has been committed to reducing incidence and mortality from skin cancer for more than 22 years. The PSA campaign, also on YouTube, is one way we can reach young women with this important health message. Since one Canadian dies of skin cancer about every seven hours, it is imperative that young people avoid deliberately seeking a tan.”
– CDA past president, Dr. Yves Poulin.

“Research shows 70 % of indoor tanners are female, primarily 16 to 29 years old. Indoor tanning at this age increases the risk of developing skin cancer. It is very important for women to be aware of the risks or artificial tanning.”
– Dr. Cheryl Rosen, national director of CDA’s Sun Awareness Program.

A tan will provide inadequate protection from the sun on holiday. One of the busiest seasons for indoor tanning starts in January when many teens tan before spring break. A tan offers very limited protection from sunlight or burning. At most, a tan is the equivalent to a sunscreen with SPF of just 2-4. Not enough to keep you safe in the sun.

The “Indoor Tanning is Out” TV Public Service Announcement warns that artificial tanning is not as safe as you think! It is especially dangerous because UV rays from sunbeds can be up to 10-15 times higher than that of the midday sun. Prevention is key because melanoma, has become the third most common form of cancer in young Canadian women (second most common cancer in young Ontarians aged 15-34) years of age, and is mostly preventable. Don’t be one of them.

Ban on Tanning Bed Usage by Minors Across Canada

Over the past several years the CDA with other organizations has lobbied on Parliament Hill for a ban on tanning bed usage by minors. Currently, every province in Canada (and two out of three territories) prohibits the use of tanning equipment by people under the age of 18 or 19.