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JCTA responds to health unit re: tanning

Web posted on July 06, 2012

Re: Health unit supports under-18 tanning ban, Dated July 5th 2012

Dear Editor:

There is no one more concerned with professional standards than our members. Is there a need to take the rights away from parents or is this about who controls the equipment?

The Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA) has been calling for provincial standards to formalize voluntary industry practices already in place in professional salons, including:
parental consent for everyone under 18
mandatory protective eyewear
skin typing every client correctly
salon operator training and certification
equipment controlled by certified operators
barring customers that are Skin Type 1 (always burn, never tan)
banning self-serve tanning equipment

Health agencies seldom mention professional salons. Instead the focus is always about tanning equipment. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO). The IARC report does not - as has been widely misreported - show a blanket 75% increase of risk for melanoma from commercial tanning units for people under age 35.

When home (40% increased risk) and medical tanning units (96% increased risk) are removed from the IARC data, the weighted increase of risk is only 6% for commercial sunbeds, which includes Skin Type I individuals, who are screened from UV tanning in professional Canadian tanning facilities. Removing Skin Type I cases from the studies eliminates the increase in risk entirely and may actually show UV tanners have a lower risk in this data set. The IARC data was most recently reviewed by Dr. Mia Papas at the 3rd North American Congress of Epidemiology in Montreal, June 21-24, 2011.

What else is included in WHO group along with sunbeds; sunlight, phototherapy for cosmetic skin conditions, birth control bills. This grouping doesn't identify what the dosage is to cause the increase risk.

The key is moderation and who controls the equipment.

Warmest regards,
Steven Gilroy
Executive Director
Joint Canadian Tanning Association
Kelowna BC

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