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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Peel Region By-law to Regulate Commercial Tanning Facilities

Why did Peel Regional Council pass a By-law regulating tanning facilities?

The By-law was enacted based on a report to Council submitted by the Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel. The report referenced the International Agency for Research on Cancer who classify artificial tanning as a Group 1 carcinogen (carcinogenic to humans). The risk of melanoma (the most dangerous form of skin cancer) is 75% greater for those who use tanning equipment before the age of 35, compared to those who have not used tanning equipment.

Based on the health risks associated with the use of tanning equipment, Regional Council felt it was in the public’s interest to regulate tanning facilities.

Legal restrictions prohibiting the use of commercial tanning equipment for those under the age of 18 are consistent with recommendations from the World Health Organizations, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Canadian Medical Association and the Ontario Medical Association.

When does the By-law take effect?

The By-law is effective January 1, 2013

As an operator, what do I need to do?

Operators are responsible for checking the age identification of customers who appear to be under 25 years of age (only certain forms of identification are acceptable as proof of age, see list below)

It is the operator’s responsibility to ensure that persons under the age of 18 do not have access to tanning equipment.

Operators must post a health warning sign (PDF 34KB, 1 page) within one metre of each piece of tanning equipment in their facility. Operators must provide acceptable eyewear for clients.

See enclosed By-law (85-2012) for full details on operator requirements.

What is acceptable for proof of age?

Acceptable proof of age includes:

  1. a Canadian driver’s license
  2. a Canadian passport
  3. a certificate of Canadian citizenship that contains the person’s photograph
  4. a Canadian permanent resident card
  5. a Canadian Armed Forces identification card
  6. any other document that:
    1. is issued by a federal or provincial authority or a foreign government, and
    2. contains the person’s photograph, date of birth and signature.

A student card is not an acceptable as proof of age.

What would happen if an operator does not comply with the requirements of the By-law?

A fine may be issued by a Peel Public Health Inspector or a municipal By-law enforcement officer for any infraction of the By-law including:

  • allowing persons under 18 to access tanning equipment;
  • failing to post the health warning sign (PDF 34KB, 1 page) within one metre of each piece of tanning equipment
  • failing to request acceptable identification;
  • failing to provide protective eyewear for clients.

See enclosed By-law (85-2012) for complete list of infractions.

What is considered “tanning equipment”?

Tanning equipment refers to ultraviolet or other lamps intended to induce skin tanning through the irradiation of any part of the human body with ultraviolet radiation and equipment including ballasts, starters, reflectors, acrylic shields, timers and airflow cooling systems. It does not include equipment used for spray tanning.

Can infections be spread through use of tanning equipment?

The risk of spreading infections is low. If a tanning bed is not properly disinfected between each use, there is a potential for certain organisms to survive on the surfaces and spread infections. Examples are aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. The risk increases if a person has any skin abrasions.

Eye infections can also results from the use of shared protective eyewear that has not been properly disinfected.

How do I sanitize the tanning equipment?

The tanning bed and protective eyewear must be cleaned and disinfected between clients using a low level disinfectant. Clean the surface with soap and water before disinfecting. Check with manufacturer for a disinfectant that is safe to use on the surface of your equipment.

An example of a low level disinfectant is bleach and water. A bleach and water solution may be prepared by adding 1 tsp (5ml) of bleach to 10 cups (2.5ℓ) of water. This solution needs to be prepared daily for maximum effectiveness. The solution must stay wet on the surface for 10 minutes. Keep the solution in a labelled spray bottle for easier application.

Where must signs be posted?

The Health Warning sign (PDF 34KB, 1 page) is mandatory and must be posted within one metre of each piece of tanning equipment in your facility.

The Age Restriction Sign (PDF 41KB, 1 page) is not mandatory. It is recommended that the Age Restriction Sign be posted in high-traffic/common area (e.g., front entrance) to help you explain the By-law to your clients and to notify persons under 18 that this By-law prohibits them from accessing tanning equipment.

How do I tell my customers who are under 18 that they are not allowed to use the tanning equipment?

Explain there is a Regional By-law prohibiting persons under the age of 18 from accessing tanning equipment. For information, they can contact Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700. Caledon residents call free of charge 905-584-2216 or visit peelregion.ca/health/pss.

What happens during an inspection? How will compliance be determined?

A Public Health Inspector from the Region of Peel or a By-law enforcement officer from your municipality (City of Brampton, City of Mississauga, or Town of Caledon) will conduct an inspection of your facility at least once every year and whenever a complaint is received.

All inspections are unannounced. Region of Peel Public Health Inspectors (PHI) and By-law enforcement officers carry photo identification (ID). Do not hesitate to ask to see the ID of anyone coming to inspect your facility.

The PHI may ask to see documents, ask the operator questions and will need to inspect certain areas in the facility. They will then provide the operator with a written report and explanation. They will address any questions the operator may have. Failure to follow directions from a PHI will result in charges being laid.

Please refer to enclosed By-law (85-2012) for details on the maximum penalties for non-compliance.

Can operators allow access to tanning equipment to persons under the age of 18 with parental consent or for medical purposes?

The By-law applies to all persons under the age of 18. There are no exceptions even with parental consent. Those using tanning equipment for a medical condition must use tanning (UV) equipment at a physician’s office or a medical facility.

Is there an easy way for operators to calculate someone’s age?

An age prompt card is provided to tanning facilities to assist staff with age calculation. In 2013, a person may access tanning equipment if they were born in 1995 or earlier.

How can I get more information?

Call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700. Caledon residents can call free of charge at 905-584-2216 or visit peelregion.ca/health/pss for information or to print off additional health warning or age restriction signs.

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Revised: Friday April 03 2020

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