N.B.'s voluntary tanning rules applauded
New Brunswick's voluntary rules governing tanning salons are a good start to restricting the practice, according to a Fredericton dermatologist.
The City of Victoria and surrounding municipalities became the first Canadian jurisdictions to prohibit people under the age of 18 from using commercial tanning beds.
The New Brunswick government had banned the use of tanning beds for those people under 18 in 1992 when it amended the Radiation Act.
When the Department of Health brought in a new Public Health Act last year it did not maintain the ban.
Instead, the New Brunswick government did impose a set of voluntary guidelines that stated that no one under the age of 18 should be allowed in tanning beds, operators should be fully trained and there should be 48 hours between appointments.
Dr. Dana Hanson, a Fredericton dermatologist, has raised concerns about the impact of tanning salons for decades.
He said the New Brunswick rules make sense.
"I think those guidelines are a good start," Hanson said.
"Absolutely, I think there are many tanning places that do tanning follow those sort of guidelines. They are good corporate citizens."
The provincial government has promised to review the voluntary guidelines and how many salons are following them this year.
The health department could turn them into law if it finds the tanning industry is ignoring them.
The World Health Organization began classifying the ultraviolet rays from tanning beds as high risk in 2009.
This new international classification means tanning beds and ultraviolet radiation definitely cause cancer in humans, just as tobacco smoke and mustard gas do.
The International Agency for Cancer Research or IARC, the World Health Organization's cancer wing, updated the level based on research published online in 2009 in the medical journal Lancet Oncology.
The study found that the risk of skin melanoma is increased by 75 per cent if a person starts tanning before age 30.