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Nova Scotia cracks down on tanning beds for teens

In this Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2005 file photo, a woman lies in a tanning booth in Anchorage, Alaska. International cancer experts have moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category, deeming them as deadly as arsenic and mustard gas. The research was published online in the medical journal Lancet Oncology on Wednesday, July 29, 2009, by experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization.


Nova Scotia is proposing legislation that would ban people under the age of 19 from using tanning beds.

Health Minister Maureen MacDonald says the legislation is aimed at saving young people from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays.

"Young people develop life-long habits early in their life. They're very susceptible," Ms. MacDonald told a news conference Monday.

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"I think the research indicates that the earlier you begin to be exposed to UV rays in these types of situations, the greater your risk is of developing or having skin cancer."

She said the legislation is a crucial step in trying to change habits in a province that has the highest rate of skin cancer in Canada.

The legislation would also require tanning bed operators to display signs with information warning of the health impact of tanning bed use. Businesses that contravene the age restriction could face a $2,000 fine for the first offence, $5,000 for a second and $10,000 for a third.

Nova Scotia's chief medical officer says if approved, the province would be the only in Canada to currently have such legislation.

New Brunswick was the only province banning minors from tanning salons, but it quietly repealed its legislation last year as it made changes to its provincial health laws.

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