Skip to Main Content
Bookmark and Share print small medium large 

aussi disponible en français
August 26, 2013
For immediate release

Tanning beds prohibited for minors effective September 1, 2013

Health and Wellness

Legislation to prohibit the use of tanning beds by anyone under the age of 18 will come into effect September 1, 2013, says Minister of Health and Wellness Doug Currie.

“Prince Edward Island has one of the highest rates of Melanoma (skin cancer) in the country and the World Health Organization has stated that using tanning devices before 35 years of age increases the risk of skin cancer by 75 per cent,” said Minister Currie. “Ultimately the goal is to reduce exposure to UV light and reduce the number of new cases of skin cancer.”

A recent review of studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has resulted in re-classifying the use of tanning beds to the highest cancer risk group “Group I” carcinogen. As well, the World Health Organization has recently upgraded the risk associated with ultra violet exposure including tanning devices to the most extreme cancer category.

The restriction on tanning bed use falls under the new Public Health Act.

“Public health is a key priority of our department to ensure the health and safety of Islanders,” said Minister Currie. “By prohibiting tanning for minors, we are attempting to reach this age group before they have a chance to adopt unhealthy behaviors which can have negative health impacts later in life.”

TANNING EQUIPMENT FAQ’S

Why prohibit the marketing, sale or access to tanning equipment for any person under 18 years?

A recent review of studies by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has resulted in re-classifying the use of tanning beds to the highest cancer risk group “Group I” carcinogen. The World Health Organization has recently upgraded the risk associated with ultra violet exposure including tanning devices to the most extreme cancer category. This means that there is sufficient evidence to conclude that the use of tanning beds causes cancer.

We want to reach this age group before they have a chance to adopt unhealthy behaviors which can have negative health impacts later in life. Studies show that when you tan before age 35, you increase your risk of getting skin cancer.

Ultimately the goal is to reduce exposure to UV light and reduce the number of new cases of skin cancer.

What form of identification must a client provide?

Similar to identification requirements for Tobacco Sales and Access Act, the following forms of ID are specified:

• a P.E.I. driver’s licence;

• a provincial photographic identification card;

• a passport, Certificate of Canadian Citizenship or permanent resident certificate issued by the federal government; or

• any other document issued by the federal government or province or territory that contains the person’s photograph, date of birth and signature.

Do I require a licence to operate a tanning facility?

Facilities that offer tanning services must be registered with the Department of Health and Wellness. A registration fee for a tanning facility is $100 and is valid for 3 years from the date of issue. The facility registration is not transferable to another location or to another person. A registration form is attached as Appendix I.

Are signs required to be posted?

Signs containing a health warning and age restrictions must be posted at the point of sale and within 1 metre of each piece of tanning equipment. The signs will be provided to tanning facility operators free of charge.

Are there any exemptions for a person under 18 years of age with skin problems?

A medical doctor or nurse practitioner can prescribe ultraviolet light treatments to any person for medical purposes. The facility operator must maintain a copy of the prescription in the clients file so the validity of the prescription can be verified.

Can a person under 18 years of age use tanning services with parental consent?

No. The only exemption to the regulations is for a person with a skin condition under prescription from a medical nurse practitioner.

If I have tanning equipment in my home, do I have to comply with the regulations?

The regulations apply to those who own and operate a business to offer this service to the public. If you have tanning equipment in your home that is for personal use only, the regulations do not apply.

What type of infections can be spread through the use of tanning beds?

Aside from cancer risk and more serious health effects, bacterial skin infections may also be transmitted by tanning bed use. If tanning equipment is not properly cleaned and disinfected between each use, there is potential for certain organisms to survive on the equipment surfaces and cause infection to the next user. The risk of transmission increases when a user has a skin abrasion, no matter how small. Some examples of skin infections that may be transmitted by tanning bed surfaces are Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus Aureus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Eye infections can also result from the use of shared protective eyewear that has not been properly cleaned and disinfected. One example is Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye. Although not a regulatory requirement, operators can discuss appropriate cleaning procedures with department staff.

What is a pathogen?

A pathogen is a biological agent that causes infection or disease to its host. Examples of pathogenic organisms are virus, bacterium and fungus.

What is a disinfectant?

A disinfectant is an agent that is applied to a surface to destroy pathogenic organisms. Chemical disinfectants are commonly used, of which there are various types. If using a chemical disinfectant, make sure that you use a disinfectant that has a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A complete list of approved disinfectants can be found in Health Canada’s Drug Product Database.

Will my tanning facility be subject to inspection?

All commercial tanning facility operations will be subject to inspection once the regulations come into force September 1, 2013. Inspections will be conducted by Environmental Health Officers, Department of Health and Wellness.

What is the penalty for a violation of the legislation?

For a violation of the Act or Regulations, a fine can be issued:

- 1st offence $1,000.

- 2nd offence $2,000.

- 3rd offence $10,000.

Who do I contact for more information?

Environmental Health - 902-368-4970 / 1-800-958-6400

-30-
Media Contact: April Winchester
back to top