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The Regional Municipality of Durham printPrinter Friendly Version

News Release

New Skin Cancer Prevention Act to protect Ontario youth from skin cancer

WHITBY, ON May 5, 2014 - Ontario’s new Skin Cancer Prevention Act came into effect on May 1. This legislation is designed to protect young people under 18 from skin cancer by restricting their use of tanning bed services. The act also prohibits the sale, advertising and marketing of tanning bed services to youth under 18.

“This new act protects young people from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation from tanning beds.” said Carol Reilly, a public health nurse with Durham Region Health Department. “The use of a tanning bed before the age of 35 is especially dangerous, as research has shown that a person’s risk of developing skin cancer can increase by 75 per cent, particularly for melanoma.” 

Durham Region Health Department will work with local operators of tanning bed services to help ensure that all operators are aware of the legislation and understand their role in compliance with the act.

“Tanning bed operators must be aware of their responsibilities under the new act restricting the use of tanning beds for people under 18-years old,” said Brenda Kwan, Manager, Environmental Health with Durham Region Health Department. “We understand that this is new legislation for everyone, therefore, the Health Department will be working with local operators to help ensure they are aware of the new requirements and what they need to do to meet compliance.”

The act requires tanning bed operators to post signs in their businesses about the new restriction; signs must also include warnings about the dangers associated with tanning bed use. Operators will also be required to ask for proof of age identification.

“Once the appropriate signage has been received from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, Health Department staff will deliver copies to all tanning services in Durham Region that are already being inspected for infection prevention and control practices,” explained Ms. Kwan. “Tanning services not registered with the Health Department are required to report to the Health Department before beginning operation.”

The new legislation also provides a 60-day grace period for anyone selling tanning services or ultraviolet light services for tanning to report to their local health unit. After this grace period, all tanning services must be reported to local health units before beginning operation. Area tanning services should report their operation to Durham Region Health Department in writing. Operators can email this information to, or send the information by Canada Post to Durham Region Health Department, IDPC, 101 Consumers Drive, Whitby, ON, L1N 1C4.

For more information on Ontario’s new Skin Cancer Prevention Act, please visit, or call the Health Department’s Environmental Help Line at 1-888-777-9613.


Media inquiries:
Glendene Collins - Health Department 905-668-7711, ext. 2999