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Government of Canada Announces Stronger Labelling Requirements for Tanning Beds

Warning labels remind users about skin cancer risk

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 02/26/14 -- Today, the federal government finalized new regulations mandating stronger health warning label requirements for tanning beds and equipment.

Health Canada has strengthened the labelling requirements for tanning beds to better inform consumers about the health risks associated with the use of these devices. Once the regulations come into force on May 7, 2014, all tanning equipment sold, leased or imported into Canada must display a warning label with the following message: "Not recommended for use by those under 18 years of age." The label also features a black bar warning stating: "Tanning equipment can cause cancer" and a bulleted list of other health risks associated with tanning including risk factors such as skin type, photosensitivity and history of skin cancer.

While Health Canada regulates the sale, lease and import of tanning beds under the Radiation Emitting Devices Act, regulation of tanning bed use in commercial establishments, including age restrictions, is being undertaken by provinces and territories. Most provinces/territories in the country currently either regulate, or have expressed an intention to regulate, access to tanning equipment by minors.

Quick Facts

--  According to the World Health Organization, the risk of developing skin
    melanoma increases by 75% when use of tanning beds starts before the age
    of 35.
--  Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada, and melanoma is
    its deadliest form.
--  While mortality rates have remained stable, killing one in five
    diagnosed, incidence of melanoma has increased threefold between 1972
    and 2006.
--  In 2013, approximately 6,000 Canadians were diagnosed with melanoma skin
    cancer and 1050 died from it.
--  Exposure to ultraviolet A and B radiation from tanning can cause
    sunburn, damage to your eyes, and other health effects, including an
    increased risk of skin cancer.
--  In 2011, James Bezan, Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake in
    Manitoba, tabled a Private Members Bill in the House of Commons to raise
    awareness about the harms associated with artificial tanning.


"Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from tanning can cause sunburns, damage to your eyes and increase the risk of skin cancer. Our Government has made it mandatory that all tanning beds sold, leased or imported into Canada must now be properly labelled to warn Canadians, especially youth, about the risks of using a tanning bed."

Rona Ambrose

Minister of Health

"My wife is a melanoma cancer survivor and both of us used tanning beds in the past. I'm pleased that, as a result of the Government of Canada's strengthened regulations, Canadians will now be able to make better informed decisions about their health."

James Bezan

Member of Parliament for Selkirk-Interlake, MB

"There is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan, indoors or out. The Canadian Cancer Society supports the government's move to stricter regulation of the indoor tanning industry - stronger labelling and clear health warning messages on tanning beds constitute important steps in reducing the number of Canadians diagnosed with skin cancer each year."

Pamela Fralic

President and CEO

Canadian Cancer Society

Related Products

Information on health warning messages for tanning beds

Associated Links

Tanning Beds and Lamps - Healthy Canadians:

Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at:

Michael Bolkenius
Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
Federal Minister of Health
(613) 957-0200

Public Inquiries:

Health Canada
Media Relations
(613) 957-2983

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