Alberta prepares tanning equipment legislation

Alberta is preparing tanning equipment legislation to be introduced this year that aims to help protect young people from skin cancer. But it's not clear if the bill will ban people under 18 from using tanning beds.

Health minister unclear on whether minors will be banned from using tanning beds

Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba are the only provinces that don't ban young people from using tanning beds. Manitoba allows those under the age of 18 to use tanning beds if they have parental consent. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

Alberta is preparing tanning equipment legislation to be introduced this year that aims to help protect young people from skin cancer.

But it's not clear if the bill will ban people under 18 from using tanning beds — which the World Health Organization has linked to cancer, including deadly melanoma.

Health Minister Fred Horne says the legislation could be introduced this spring or in the fall.

He says the final contents of the bill will depend on the political process.

Every other province except Saskatchewan and Manitoba bans young people from using indoor tanning equipment.

Saskatchewan leaves it up to individuals to decide what is best for them.

Manitoba allows people under 18 to indoor tan if they have permission from a parent.

The Canadian Cancer Society says it fears Alberta may follow Manitoba's lead and introduce parental consent-type legislation.

The society says the parental consent idea won't reduce the number of young people who use tanning salons.

It plans to release updated skin cancer information for Alberta in May with a special focus on melanoma in the hope of creating more buzz about the health dangers of indoor tanning.