Have you allowed your child to be abused by or work for a sunbed operator?
Sun Magic - Kitchener, Ontario
On June 4, 2002 I learned that one of my 15 year old acne patients was working at the Sun Magic tanning emporium at the corner of Ottawa and Westmount in Kitchener. I could not believe my ears, and my eyes when I looked at her. She told me that the owners of the franchise had her cleaning the beds for clients, and she was also given a large supply of coupons for free visits to hand out to her friends at school.
Kokomo's - London, Ontario - May 2002
I would like to hear from anyone who brought their child to any suntan parlor in Canada. We have had recent experiences with 13 and 14 year old children who were signed up at a Kokomo's suntanning parlour in London, Ontario. At least one of the girls was on potent anti-acne medication and should never have been allowed to tan, even with parental permission. The city of London has done nothing to curb the child abuse that occurs when parents unwittingly take their kids to get ready for Grade 8 graduation, or for the prom. This particular company's web site criticizes efforts by the dermatology community to educate the public about the risks of artificial tanning. It is sinfully lacking in honesty, especially when it concerns the exposure of young children to UVB and UVA.
London-Middlesex Health Unit Safety Regulations & Guidelines are now history. Their recommendations for tanning salons provides no enforcement, reviews no training of facility staff, and stipulates no penalties for abuse. In other words, after numerous complaints, major articles in the local media, the Health Unit caves in to the sunbed industry. Who the hell is running the show there? What in the world are they afraid of?
Alert Alert Alert
Sunbeds can be deadly
From Mole to Melanoma: Skin Cancer Explained Web cast with David J. Leffell, MD
of the Yale University School of Medicine and Arielle Kauvar, MD New York University School of Medicine
Sunbed abuse of children is out of control - Pediatrics - June 2002
Use of Sunscreen, Sunburning Rates, and Tanning Bed Use Among More
Than 10 000 US Children and Adolescents Huge study done by researchers at Boston University that involved over 10,000 boys and girls age 12-18 from all 50 States. Nearly 10%
of respondents used a tanning bed during the previous year. Girls were far more likely than boys to report tanning bed use (14.4 vs 2.4), and older girls (ages
15Š18) were far more likely than younger girls (ages 12Š14) to report tanning bed use (24.6% vs 4.7). Tanning bed use increased from 7% among
14-year-old girls to 16% by age 15, and more than doubled again by age 17 (35%; N = 244). Conclusion: Nationally coordinated campaigns with strong policy components must be developed and sustained to prevent skin cancer
in a new generation of children and adolescents.
Tanning Devices May Contribute to Incidence of Common Skin Cancers Press release - Journal of the National Cancer Institute
New study shows risk of skin cancer more than double - Bred Evenson - National Post
A new U.S. study suggests people who use tanning beds face an
increased risk of developing two common types of skin cancer,
basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma.
The Safety of Tanning Salons
Goodlife Fitness has a motto:
To belong where
are committed to
educating you to
develop a more
longevity and fun.
Now how does the promotion of sunbeds in their clubs add to fitness, longevity, or fun? Did you know that artificial tanning more than doubles the risk of some common skin cancers? Do they care?
Good Life Fitness and others comment on sunbed use by 14 year olds
Doctor Says Tanning Salons Can Be Health Hazard
A doctor in southwestern Ontario
wants tanning salons regulated more
Dr. Terry Polevoy is a pediatrician
who runs skin care clinics in London
He wants to see age restrictions on who
can use the facilities and better training
for the staff.
The following day two folks rebutted Dr. Polevoy on the CBC.
On Tuesday, we heard from pediatrician
Dr. Terry Polevoy. He'd like to see more
regulation of tanning salons.
Dr. Polevoy would like to see people
under 18 prohibited from using them.
And he wants better training for staff.
We wanted to get reaction to his
proposals from people in the business.
Michelle Colwell is the director of
national member services for the Goodlife
Fitness Club chain. Calla Leitch is the
owner of the Tahiti Breezes Sun Salon in
They did agree that they would welcome regulation. The Good Life Fitness empire owns 55 "health" clubs in Canada.
They all have tanning beds. They say that they don't allow anyone under age 18 to tan. I wonder what it would take for a 16 year old to try?
Calla Leitch says she has allowed 14 year old girls to tan before their graduation, but would consider self regulation to limit exposure to those under 18.
Both of them missed the boat on marketing of the units by industry sales people. Neither of them admitted that their beds have ever injured anyone. That is absolutely ridiculous. I assume that the Good Life Fitness Clubs would have to keep written records of injuries on file as part of their 200 page training manual would suggest.
A list of their clubs in Canada say that they all have sunbeds, but I don't see any guidelines posted on their web site. But, they do say that they provide a chiropractor or doctor/physiotherapist at some of them. What do these licensed health professionals say about tanning?
I'd like to ask their president about this notion that tanning under artificial lights at their centres contributes to fitness, energy, lifestyle or fun, but so far he has never responded personally to any communications about this issue.
David Patchell-Evans the head honcho at GLF did not feel it was necessary to take on this issue on the CBC. I guess he's too busy writing books and organizing the homecoming at UWO.
Are local owners responsible, or are they controlled by the tanning industry?
Sunbed promoters want you to think that they are good community members. They join the Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, and sponsor fund raisers for cancer clinics. Yes, that's right, they sponsor fund raisers for CANCER CLINICS.
Why would an industry that helps to promote artificial tanning, a known link to the promotion of deadly forms of skin cancer, be part of a fund raiser for a new cancer clinic in Kitchener, Ontario?
Those of you who would like to see the other side of the tanning industry are encouraged to use this web site. It is dedicated to those members of our family and yours who have been touched by melanoma.
Terry Polevoy, M.D.