Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta to Introduce Tanning Bed Legislation This Year, but Will It Ban Youth?

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta to Introduce Tanning Bed Legislation This Year, but Will It Ban Youth?

Article excerpt

Alberta to introduce tanning bed legislation


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

But it is not clear if the bill will ban people under 18 from using tanning beds -- equipment that the World Health Organization has linked to cancer, including deadly melanoma.

Health Minister Fred Horne said the legislation is being developed and could be introduced this spring or in the fall. The final contents of the bill will depend on the political process.

"They will see it this year," Horne said. "We are obviously looking at that (a ban) as a key option and I will be taking it through our decision making process in government as fast as I can."

Except for Saskatchewan and Manitoba, all the other provinces ban young people from using indoor tanning equipment.

Saskatchewan leaves it up to individuals to decide what is best for them. Just last week it ruled out introducing a ban despite a presentation from the Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Dermatology Association about the health dangers.

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

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

"Our issue with parental consent is that it doesn't work. It is not shown to be an effective way to reduce a minor's use of tanning equipment," said Evie Eshpeter, a policy analyst with the society.

"Fundamentally, it is wrong to give a parent permission to expose their child to a known carcinogen."

The cancer society says there is published medical proof that young people who use tanning equipment are at much greater risk of developing melanoma in later life.

Eshpeter said the society will 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. …

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