The Canadian Cancer Society (http://www.cancer.org/) tweeted on October 9 that they were celebrating fantastic news.. that the Ontario MPPs voted unanimously to prohibit youth under age 18 from accessing tanning beds in Ontario.
Bill 30, part of the Skin Cancer Prevention Act, was successfully passed after it’s third reading. This is an issue that the Canadian Cancer Society has been pushing since 2005.
“I’m happy that we finally have legislation that will protect youth from skin cancer,” says Kate Neale, 23, a melanoma cancer survivor and Society volunteer. She continued to say “When I was diagnosed with melanoma, I wanted to stop every young person from indoor tanning. I joined the Canadian Cancer Society and the #tanbedban movement to advocate for legislation banning indoor tanning for youth because it was my hope to make a difference. That hope has become reality,”
While ITA (the Indoor Tanning Association) claim that tanning beds are completely safe, studies have shown that the regular use of tanning beds, especially at a young age, have long-term negative effects with links to multiple forms of skin cancer. An increased risk of melanoma has been associated with people who have moles or repeated sunburn experiences as a child or young adult.
It is believed that skin cancer has a a 20 to 30 year latency period meaning damage done to your skin now might not be fully noticed for decades.
The ITA states:
Skin cancer has a 20- to 30-year latency period. The rates of skin cancer we are seeing today are most likely the result of bad habits from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s that were based on ignorance and misinformation about sun tanning. In those days, many people still considered sunburns an inconvenient right of spring, a precursor to developing a summer tan. People believed that sunburns would “fade” into tans, and so tanners hit the beaches and blacktops with baby oil and reflectors. Severe burns were commonplace. Today we know how reckless and uninformed that approach was.
The Skin Cancer Prevention Act can be followed on twitter under the twitter hash tag #tanbedban