Volume 96, Issue 3

Thursday, June 6, 2002
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"Real" world?

Off the cuff of glory

Ivey brings in the bucks

Gay and lesbian info hits the web

Western engineers hit the finish line in Michigan

London health officials battle "tanorexia"

Ship Liberal sailing into very rocky waters

Darth Chretien?

Double cohort applications process unclear

In the eyes of a reporter in sweats

Of egos, ethics and ignorance

News Briefs

London health officials battle "tanorexia"

By Kelly Marcella
Gazette Staff

Without federal or provincial regulations in place, local health officials are taking the initiative to battle the dangers of tanning beds – especially in regards to younger clientele.

According to Kaylene McKinnon, public health nurse and chair of the Middlesex-London Health Unit's sun/ultra-violet committee, the initiative was born of complaints that tanning salons were giving coupons to grade eight students in London last summer.

McKinnon said health and environmental inspectors are only able to ensure proper signage and equipment are in place at tanning salons. "We are without any legislation to enforce anything else. The community is open to risk," she added.

As a result, the Middlesex-London Health Unit is launching their Artificial Tanning Strategy, which will focus on educating the community about the dangers of tanning as well as informing tanning bed operators of Health Canada's guidelines, McKinnon said.

"People have a disease called tanorexia," said Terry Polevoy, doctor and owner of the Acne Care Clinic in London, adding people are addicted to tanning because they have a fear of being unattractive.

"Health Canada has done nothing to regulate these machines," Polevoy said, adding he feels tanning beds are a form of child abuse. "I think they should be outlawed completely."

Veronica Seguin, manager of Sun Seekers Tanning & Spa, said the average age of their customers is 16, the minimum age allowed to use tanning beds in their salon without parental consent.

Health Canada departmental spokesperson Andrew Swift said there are rules for the construction, safe use and dangers of tanning beds under the federal Radiation Emitting Devices Act. Such dangers must be posted by tanning bed operators, he added.

Swift said Health Canada provides tanning guidelines for owners, operators and users of tanning beds, one of which states minors should not use the beds.

However, Swift said such guidelines and are not legally binding.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002