February 1, 2019
Learn how provincial and territorial governments can limit the use of artificial tanning units
Inside this UVR policy pack
- UVR policy pack: background evidence
- Evidence-informed UVR policy actions
- Key statistics: Exposure to solar and artificial UVR in Canada
- Public perceptions of the issue of exposure to UVR and cancer
- Economic evidence to support UVR policy
- Indicators to measure progress on UVR policy
Regulation of the use and/or sale of commercial tanning units
Restrict or ban use of commercial tanning units1
Ban use and/or sale of commercial tanning units1,2
Restrict use of commercial tanning units by minors with age restrictions, parental accompaniment, parental consent and required skin type assessment1
Degree of policy adoption*
Current action(s) in Canada
No province or territory has banned the use or sale of commercial tanning for the general population. However, all provinces and one territory have passed legislation that prohibits the use of commercial tanning units by minors. Ages of restriction vary across provinces and territories; Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Northwest Territories prohibit use by youth under the age of 19 and Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia prohibit use by youth under the age of 18.
Manitoba allows minors to use tanning equipment with parental accompaniment and when a medical prescription is provided. Saskatchewan and British Columbia also allow minors to use tanning equipment when a medical prescription is provided, no parental accompaniment required.
Protective eyewear for all tanning bed users is mandated at the federal level under the Radiation Emitting Devices Regulations.
In addition, voluntary Guidelines for Tanning Salon Equipment, Operators and Users at the federal level recommend that the use of tanning equipment by minors be restricted, and require that warning labels include a statement that indicates that tanning beds are not recommended for use by individuals under 18 years of age. They also recommend that tanning equipment operators ascertain a client’s ability to tan via skin type assessment to minimize adverse health effects. However, these measures are voluntary.
* Levels of adoption: Low = very few jurisdictions have adopted evidence-informed policy action; Medium = some, but not all jurisdictions have adopted evidence-informed policy action; High = most jurisdictions have adopted evidence-informed policy action.
1 Boniol M et al. (2012) Cutaneous melanoma attributable to sunbed use: systematic review and meta-analysis BMJ, 345: e4757. doi: 10.1136/bmj.e4757.
2 Department of Health (Victoria, Australia). (2012). Skin Cancer Prevention Framework 2013-201. Retrieved from: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/publications/policiesandguidelines/Skin-Cancer-Prevention-Framework-2013-2017