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Tanning can cause cancer. Sun lamps or tanning beds, just like the sun, give off ultraviolet radiation (UVR), a cancer-causing substance that causes harm to the eyes, early aging of the skin, wrinkling, and skin cancer.  When the tan is no longer there, the damage remains.  There is no safe way to get a tan.

Tanning Truths

A woman laying in an artificial tanning bed.

  • Ultraviolet rays from tanning equipment damage the skin.
  • A tan does not protect you from the sun.  Even with a tan you can still burn, just as a dark-skinned person can.
  • Tanning beds are not a safe way to get Vitamin D.
  • Adolescents and young adults (>35) who use tanning equipment increase their risk of developing cutaneous melanoma by 75%.
  • Don't use UV tanning equipment, or deliberately try to get a suntan, and avoid getting a burn.

In July 2009, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer raised the level of ultraviolet emitting devices (tanning lamps, booths, and beds) cancer risk to the highest risk category, Group 1 human carcinogen (cancer causing), along with arsenic, asbestos, and tobacco.

Bill 30

The Skin Care Prevention Act (Tanning Beds), 2013 also known as Bill 30 was passed by the Ontario government, and came into effect May, 2014. This Act bans the use of tanning beds for anyone under the age of 18 and also requires operators to request identification from anyone who appears to be under 25. This legislation also has other conditions like no directing of advertisement or marketing of tanning services to persons under the age of  18, and signs stating the health risks of tanning bed use.


Canadian Cancer Society. (2014). Indoor Tanning. Retrieved from

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