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Council prepares to enact bylaw to regulate tanning facilities

By Ross Lees
County staff will look into implications of the municipality enacting a bylaw to regulate indoor tanning facilities.
While there is currently only one facility in the municipality, staff has been asked to bring back a report no later than June for council’s consideration.
Councillor Barb Proctor introduced the motion, quoting from a presentation made to council April 28 by Jeffrey Brace, vice-president and volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society’s Hastings Prince Edward County unit and himself a cancer survivor. He told council young people between the ages of 15-29 need to be protected from cancer causing devices (such as tanning beds) and speed of action is vital.
“This is extremely disconcerting as indoor tanning equipment can emit ultraviolet radiation, a known human carcinogen, at levels that are five times stronger than the mid-day summer sun,” Brace said in his presentation.
Proctor, in introducing her motion, called that information “a staggering revelation” and indicated she felt it was council’s duty to consider supporting this initiative to protect youth.
Councillors Barry Turpin and Dianne O’Brien were not convinced council should be the body to introduce the legislation noting legislation like this had been introduced in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick by the province and a similar tack should be used in Ontario.
Councillor Bev Campbell said staff should consult with the business owner in preparation to establish any bylaw, or go through the Picton BIA to arrange such a meeting, but that council was the body which should initiate the process.
Councillor Terry Shortt had the final word on the discussion before the motion was passed.
“Those who were on council at the time the no smoking bylaw was passed will recall it was an onerous time and this is probably going to be the same thing. It has to start at the community level and there is no easy path on this. It needs to start here.”
In his presentation to council at the committee of the whole meeting April 28, Brace urged council to develop an indoor tanning bylaw that will:
* Restrict the use of indoor tanning equipment by youth under the age of 18.
* Restrict indoor tanning promotions and marketing targeted to youth.
* Develop and maintain a registry or licensing system of indoor tanning equipment in Ontario with fees put toward enforcement.
* Introduce mandatory, comprehensive, Ontario specific training for all staff operating indoor tanning equipment.
* Ensure that the health risks associated with UVR emitting devices are displayed prominently and in clear view of clients at all indoor tanning facilities.

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