Children and teens under the age of 18 should be banned from using commercial indoor tanning beds, the Canadian Paediatric Society says.

In a position statement published on Friday, the group called for laws to keep minors out of tanning facilities because of a "serious cancer risk."

"Tanning parlours have sought to establish and maintain a client-base among teenagers," the statement said.

"Consequently, the Canadian Paediatric Society is joining other prominent health organizations in support of a ban on the use of commercial tanning facilities by Canadian children and youth under the age of 18 years."


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The group said 25 per cent of Canadians aged 13 to 19 have used a tanning salon.

Currently, Nova Scotia and southern Vancouver Island are the only Canadian jurisdictions with laws to keep children and youth out of tanning parlours, according to CPS.

The World Health Organization, the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Dermatology Association, the International Agency for Research on Cancer and U.S. medical groups have all supported legislation to ban the use of artificial tanning devices by children and teens.The machines emit ultraviolet radiation which has been linked to the development of skin cancer.

Earlier this week, the Joint Canadian Tanning Association, an industry group, called on sunbed operators and employees to limit claims being made about the benefits of indoor sunbathing.

In December 2011, a Manitoba MP again tabled a federal bill that would ban the use of artificial tanning equipment by those under 18. It’s the second time that James Bezan has tried to have such legislation enacted.