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Victoria bars under-18s from tanning salons

The City of Victoria and surrounding municipalities have become the first jurisdictions in Canada to bar people under the age of 18 from using commercial tanning beds.
The City of Victoria and surrounding municipalities have become the first jurisdictions in Canada to bar people under the age of 18 from using commercial tanning beds.

In an 18-1 vote late Wednesday, the Capital Regional District (CRD) council voted in favour of regulations governing tanning salons, including setting an age restriction, sanitary standards and a requirement that tanning bed customers use protective eyewear.

The CRD includes the City of Victoria and 12 other adjoining municipalities on southern Vancouver Island.

Guidelines issued by the government of New Brunswick in June 2009 also call for an age limit of 18, but remain voluntary pending a review later this year.

Barbara Kaminsky, the head of the Canadian Cancer Society in B.C., said she strongly endorses the bylaw.

"Indoor tanning causes cancer. It's the cause of melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer," Kaminsky told CBC News Tuesday.

"Certainly for people that are under 18, we do not think they should be put in the position where they could be making a very costly mistake that would affect their health in the future."

Kaminsky said the World Health Organization has declared the tanning bed "a known carcinogen" that produces five times more damaging ultraviolet radiation than exposure to the midday sun.