Yesterday politicians in the City of Victoria, British Columbia voted to ban indoor tanning for children under the age of 18. This ban has been long overdue and Victoria’s push on this issue (although the Province of New Brunswick were the first in Canada to ban tanning beds for those under 18) shows sensibility and leadership.
Indoor tanning began in 1903 in Germany and was imported to North America in 1978.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has decried the use of indoor tanning salons for years, recently reporting that ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning places it in the highest risk of cancer category and may result in melanoma, which is one of the deadliest skin cancers.
The WHO also confirms that indoor tanning is “carcinogenic to humans” and as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas.
With the research available it is startling that other Canadian Provinces have not joined in to ban this deadly cosmetic enhancement.
But other jurisdictions have taken steps to protect their children including the United Kingdom (but not Northern Ireland), all the Australian States, France, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, California, Texas and Wisconsin.
Brazil has now gutted its indoor tanning industry since it enacted a ban on tanning for all Brazilians.
Medical scientists also point out a phenomena called “tanorexia” which is an addiction to tanning. We only have to look at certain young American celebrities to recognize the ailment. Have you seen recent photos of Miley Cyrus, Paris Hilton and the “Jersey Shore” reality stars? Often they are so bronzed they look orange!
It seems self-evident that indoor tanning is a dangerous procedure for anyone. Adults have the tools to make their own decisions, but our children deserve protection, just as they are banned from using alcohol and cigarettes.
Lawdiva aka Georgialee Lang