December 2, 2014 11:44 pm
Updated: December 3, 2014 7:35 pm

New legislation could ban minors from indoor tanning

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WINNIPEG — Teenagers in Manitoba who want to work on their tans indoors will only have a few more months to do it.

The Selinger government started work Tuesday on a new law that’s expected to ban kids from using tanning beds by the spring.  Other province’s have already made the move, and Manitoba’s government is hoping to add our province to the list.

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In 2012, rules requiring minors to obtain parental consent to use commercial UV tanning equipment came into effect.  The new proposed legislation would expand that law, prohibiting anyone under the age of 18 from indoor tanning.

“We’re making it even across the board, we worked with the Manitoba tanning association and they have indicated to us that they were very supportive of the move,” Healthy living minister Deanne Crothers said Tuesday.

According to Cancer Care Manitoba 7 % of young people from grades 7-12 have used an indoor tanning bed.  The numbers are slightly higher for boys, with 10%, and boys at 4 %.

“Younger skin is more sensitive skin so people who expose themselves to sun damage at an earlier age that sun damage is going to be more severe in terms of your long term damage,” Cancer Care Manitoba’s Elizabeth Harland explained.

Hartland adds that anyone who exposes themselves to UV lights even once before the age of 35, can significantly increase the risk of skin cancer.

“Its very concentrated UV exposure, compared to the Mediterranean sun in the middle of summer time.  It does contribute to 75 percent increase in Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer if you tan even once before the age of 35.”

Tanning salon’s Global News spoke to on Tuesday, said roughly 1 % of their clientele is under the age of 18.

Still, some business owners are fearful the changes could leave a lasting burn on the tanning industry.

“It does effect business quite a bit, because the beds used to be quite busy but with this bad publicity it does not do us any good.”

The ban not only includes the use of the tanning equipment for anyone 17 years of age and under.  The legislation would also ban marketing and advertising towards teens, and would require every person indoor tanning to use protective eye wear.

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