Young Albertans are at lower risk of developing deadly forms of skin cancer, thanks to new artificial tanning legislation that came into effect on Jan. 1.
Businesses in Alberta can no longer offer or advertise ultraviolet (UV) artificial tanning services to minors (under age 18).
“Protecting teens from the harmful effects of artificial tanning is a small change that can save lives. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Alberta. This step will help start conversations about the unnecessary risks of UV tanning.”
~Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health
“Skin cancer is dangerous, but also highly preventable. The implementation of the Skin Cancer Prevention (Artificial Tanning) Act is an important step in reducing skin cancer rates in Alberta by preventing youth exposure to harmful artificial UV radiation.”
~Angeline Webb, Canadian Cancer Society
Use of UV tanning equipment before the age 35 increases the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by nearly 60 per cent. Skin cancer accounts for more than one-third of all new cancer cases in Alberta, and UV radiation exposure accounts for about 82 per cent of melanoma.
Tanning businesses are required to post health warnings and age restrictions and unsupervised artificial tanning equipment is no longer allowed in public places.
The new legislation will be enforced by Alberta Health Services.
Rates of melanoma have increased in Alberta in recent years. In 2014, there were 665 new cases of melanoma and 64 deaths due to the disease. This is a rise in the number of cases from 2012, when there were 599 new cases of melanoma and 72 deaths.