Skin Cancer – The Truth About Tanning Salons

Skin Cancer – The Truth About Tanning Salons

 Indoor tanning salons have grown in popularity over the past decade. Ottawa now has over 50 tanning salons that are frequented by clients looking for a “healthy glow” or to get a “base tan” prior to vacationing. Some of these clients may not be aware that indoor tanning equipment emits ultraviolet radiation (UVR) which is a known carcinogen and can cause skin damage, premature skin aging, wrinkles and cancer.

Tanning salons are particularly popular among young people. This is a concern since The Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Medical Association and the World Health Organization are warning that indoor tanning before the age of 30 has been associated with an increased risk of melanoma. All three organizations support a ban on youth tanning.

Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer and the most common type of cancer for young people between the ages of 15 and 29.  Research has shown that the risk of melanoma is much higher in people who use indoor tanning equipment. Current evidence shows that people who first start using indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 have a significantly increased risk of melanoma. Using UV-emitting tanning equipment also increases the risk of ocular melanoma, a type of eye cancer as well as squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma[i]

Indoor tanning equipment can give off UVR that is 5 times stronger than the midday sun and should be avoided.

[i] Canadian Cancer Society