Youths who wish to bask beneath the lights of a tanning bed now require parental consent.
New provincial regulations for indoor tanning took effect on Friday and Catch-A-Tan Sun Tanning Salon tanning specialist Natasha Torres said that the response has been positive so far.
“I had someone today come in, her daughter is 17, so she had to fill out a form ... she was actually really positive about it and she was really glad that we’re actually enforcing these rules,” Torres said.
The new regulations are intended to help tanning salon clients understand the risks of using ultraviolet tanning equipment.
The World Health Organization has classified the UV rays from tanning beds, booths and lamps as a known cause of skin cancer.
Sunburns, premature skin aging, skin cancer and eye problems have been associated with UV radiation exposure.
Operators of tanning salons now have to post warning signs to advise clients of the risks of UV rays associated with indoor tanning.
A signed parental or guardian consent form is needed for anyone under 18 years old and parents or guardians have to be in the facility while equipment is being used if the minor is under the age of 16 years.
The parent or guardian has to attend the tanning business in person to sign the consent form.
Tanning salon owners have been informed of the regulations and supplied copies of the warning signs and consent forms.
The forms give parents control over the frequency of tanning sessions and their length. However, they can’t consent to more than 24 visits within a 12-month period.
Torres said parents of youths under 16 years old have to initial each time their child is tanning, in addition to remaining in the building.
Any tanning business operator who violates the new regulations can be fined.
Torres said she asks for identification to check the client’s age.
Escape Day Spa and Tanning Salon owner Toni Gramiak, meanwhile, says there are some benefits to time under a UV light.
“I feel that the government needs to do their research,” Gramiak said. “There are health benefits to UV exposure.
“People need to learn to enjoy the health benefits of UV exposure while minimizing the risks.”
Health benefits include the creation of a base tan to prevent burning when travelling to hot holiday climates. Exposure to UV rays also stimulates the creation of vitamin D in the body, Gramiak said.
That said — besides the warning signs — the guidelines under the new regulations aren’t new at her tanning salon, Gramiak said.
The business, for example, already had a policy that required parental consent for anyone under 18-years-old and a doctor’s note was required for those under 16 years.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 16, 2012