Artificial Tanning Beds

The Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation strongly recommends avoiding the use of artificial tanning beds.

There is a growing body of evidence to indicate a strong link between indoor tanning and skin cancer. In 2009, the World Health Organization designated tanning beds “carcinogenic to humans” – the strongest classification for cancer-causing substances.  Other carcinogens in this category include tobacco, arsenic, and asbestos. 

First exposure to sunbeds before age 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 75%. Using a sunbed even once is associated with a 15% increased risk of melanoma. Tanning beds have UV doses well above what would be expected in midday sun, as much as 14 times higher UVA and 4 times higher UVB.

Vitamin D

A recent analysis of tanning beds and vitamin D found that most tanning devices emit primarily UVA, which is relatively ineffective in stimulating vitamin D synthesis.


The Canadian Skin Cancer Foundation recommends dietary supplements as an economical and safe way to obtain vitamin D. Tanning beds should not be considered a safe way to get vitamin D.

Tanning Bed Regulations By Province

Age restriction

The Skin Cancer Prevention (Artificial Tanning) Act and the Artificial Tanning Regulation make it illegal to sell or provide UV artificial tanning services to anyone under the age of 18 in Alberta.

The Act applies to anyone under the age of 18 (minors), even if the minor has the consent of his or her parent or guardian to purchase or use UV artificial tanning services, or a prescription from a physician.

Tanning Bed Regulations

As of January 1, 2018, businesses who provide artificial tanning are:

  • prohibited from providing UV artificial tanning services to minors
  • prohibited from advertising UV artificial tanning services to minors
  • required to post specific signage at every public entrance, point of sale, and in each room where a UV tanning device is present
  • prohibited from providing unsupervised artificial tanning equipment in public places


All artificial tanning facilities are required to use the signage noted below. The signs must be posted at all:

  • entryways
  • points of sale – at each cash register facing both the employee and customer
  • points of service – in all rooms with a UV emitting device

All signage must be clearly visible, unobstructed and kept in good condition.

Any business or person who contravenes or fails to comply with the Act and Regulation commits an offence and is liable –

  • in the case of an individual, such as a worker, to a fine of up to $500
  • in the case of a corporation, fines of:
    > up to $2,000 for the first offence
    > up to $5,000 for the second offence
    > up to $10,000 for the third and any subsequent offence

Source: [1]

Age Restriction

Minors are prohibited from using tanning facilities unless they have a medical prescription.

Tanning Bed Regulations

  • The operator of a tanning facility must not permit a person under 18 years of age to use tanning equipment in a tanning bed facility.
  • The exception to this ban is a person under 18 who holds a prescription written by a B.C. medical practitioner or nurse practitioner.
  • UV radiation (phototherapy) is used to treat some skin diseases, such as psoriasis and eczema. The operator must follow the exact directions in the prescription regarding how the customer is to use the tanning equipment.


A tanning facility must display a clearly visible, B.C. government-approved sign in a prominent place where customers purchase services.

There are two kinds of approved signage:

  • A sign that can be hung on the wall, door, etc
  • A smaller, adhesive-backed label that can be attached to such places as a counter or cash register.

Both the sign and label state: “It is illegal to permit persons under 18 to use UV tanning equipment in this facility without a prescription.”

If the operator of a tanning facility permits a person under 18 years to use tanning equipment and/or does not post an approved sign in a clearly visible location, he/she contravenes the Regulated Activities Regulation. Each offence carries a $345 fine. Environmental health officers from the regional health authorities are responsible for enforcement.

Source: [2] [3]

Age Restriction

No operator shall permit a child or youth, under the age of 18 to use tanning equipment in a commercial tanning operation, except with a prescription from a dermatologist.

Where a child or youth under the age of 18 has a prescription for the use of tanning equipment, the operator must ensure that the child or youth only uses tanning equipment in accordance with the prescription, except where the prescription directs an exposure time or schedule in excess of the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Tanning Bed Regulations

  • The use of tanning equipment that is controlled by the user rather than the operator or staff of a commercial tanning operation (ex: swipe-card or coin-operated equipment) is prohibited.
  • Operators must keep a record of the date and duration of the use of tanning equipment by a child or youth under the age of 18.
  • Operators must retain the original prescription and record of use of tanning equipment by a child or youth under the age of 18 for two years.
  • Operators must ensure that protective eyewear sold or used by clients meets specified standards, and clients must be shown how to properly use the eyewear.
    • Advertising or marketing of the use of tanning equipment to children or youth under the age of 18 is prohibited.
  • Operators who violate the law can be fined under the act.


Under the Tanning Regulation, operators must post warning signs on their premises as noted below. 

Point of Sale Warning Sign
The warning sign must be posted in a prominent place on the tanning business premises, within the immediate view of anyone who enters the premises. This legal-size sign is 8.5 by 14 inches (216 by 356 millimetres). It must be kept clearly visible for all customers.

Warning Signs in Rooms
Copies of the warning sign must be posted in a prominent place in each room that has tanning equipment, within three feet (one metre) of the equipment. This letter-size sign is 8.5 by 11 inches (216 by 279 millimetres) and must be kept clearly visible for all customers when using the equipment.

Source: [4] [5]

Age Restriction

No one who owns or operates a commercial tanning operation shall permit a person under 19 years old:

  • to use UV tanning equipment,
  • to have access to a room where artificial tanning UV equipment is installed.

Any person who violates this section of the Act is liable to a fine up to $5,200.

Tanning Bed Regulations

Commercial Tanning operations are prohibited from making direct or indirect advertisements:

  • directed at people under 19 years of age,
  • that relate to artificial tanning as a means of obtaining Vitamin D,
  • that relate to a preparation tan ( “base tan”) prior to a trip to a sunny destination,
  • that make any false or misleading impression of beneficial health effects from artificial tanning.

Any person who violates this section of the Act is liable to a fine up to $5,200.


Signs provided by the Minister have to be posted visibly and prominently.
Failure to post these signs makes the owner/operator liable to a fine up to $640.

Source: [6]

Age Restriction

Tanning facilities will be prohibited from providing tanning services (using artificially produced ultraviolet) to anyone under the age of 19. Parental consent for minors will not be permitted.

Government-issued photo identification with date of birth must be used to determine a young person’s age.

Tanning Bed Regulations

For tanning facilities, the Personal Services Regulations, and Tanning Facility Standards:

  • Describe the types and sizes of health warning signs to be posted in tanning facilities.
  • Describe the health information that must be made available to clients.
    Require the availability of protective eyewear.
  • Restrict client access to controls that turn on or program the tanning equipment.
  • Prohibit self-service tanning equipment.


A health warning sign about the use of artificial tanning equipment must be placed at the point of sale in clear public view of clients prior to purchasing tanning services.

In addition, a health warning sign must be placed near each tanning bed and be visible to clients using the bed.

Source: [7] [8]

Age Restriction

It is against the law for anyone to sell UV tanning services to youth under 19 in Nova Scotia.

Tanning Bed Regulations

Read the Tanning Beds Act and Tanning Facilities Regulations for a full description of all regulations. The Tanning Beds Act requires all tanning facilities to:

  • Display signs relating to the sale of access to tanning equipment and the effect of tanning on health;
  • Require a person appearing to be under the age of nineteen years to provide proof of age before selling access to tanning equipment to that person.


The Tanning Facilities Regulations further detail the required specifications for warning signs, including wording and the general locations in which the signs must be posted.

The Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness is providing this booklet to owners of tanning facilities in order to promote understanding of the legislation regarding tanning equipment in Nova Scotia.

Download: Tanning Bed Owners Guide to the Tanning Beds Act

Source: [9] [10]

Age Restriction

The new Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds), 2013, bans the use of tanning beds by youth under 18 years of age.

Tanning Bed Regulations

The new Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds):

  • Prohibits the sale, advertising and marketing of tanning services to youth under 18;
  • Requires that tanning bed operators request identification from anyone who appears under 25 years old;
  • Requires tanning bed operators to post signs stating the ban on minors and the health risks of tanning bed use;
  • Requires that all individuals using tanning beds are provided with protective eyewear;
  • Requires that all tanning bed operators provide written notice of their location and business contact information to their local Medical Officer of Health;
  • Sets fines for tanning bed owners/operators who fail to comply;
  • and Authorizes inspectors to inspect and enforce these requirements.

How the Act Affects Tanning Bed Operators [PDF]


All tanning bed operators will be required to display four different types of signs under the Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds): a Point of Sale Warning Sign, a Health Warning Sign, an Age Restriction and Identification Decal, and an Employee Reminder Decal. Signs must be visible to patrons.

Source: [11] [12]

Age Restriction

Tanning facility operators in PEI are required by law to prohibit access to anyone under age 18 years.

Tanning facility operators are responsible for requesting proof of age from a client before offering access to tanning equipment. Written or verbal permission from a parent or guardian is not acceptable.

Tanning Bed Regulations

Tanning facilities will be routinely inspected and are required to operate in accordance with the Public Health Act and Tanning Facility Regulations.

All tanning equipment must be registered every three years. Full payment of registration fee: $100.

Tanning Equipment Registration [PDF]


Tanning facility operators in PEI are required by law to visibly display signage indicating the health hazards associated with using tanning equipment.

Tanning facility operators are required to maintain signs so they are readily legible and post in your facility as follows:

  • Within one metre of each cash register in an unobstructed position where customers can easily view the sign before purchasing access to tanning equipment;
  • and within one metre of each item of tanning equipment in an unobstructed position where customers can easily view the sign before using the tanning service.

Source: [13]

Age Restriction

People under 18 are not allowed to use tanning salons.

Tanning Bed Regulations

Tanning salon owners can’t:

  • offer artificial tanning services to people under 18;
  • sell tanning services to people under 18, even if the services are for someone else;
  • allow people under 18 to go into the room where the tanning equipment is located (without a legitimate reason)

It’s also against the law for people under 18 to pretend to be an adult in order to use a tanning salon. Owners can ask customers to show their ID to prove that they are at least 18 years old.

These restrictions don’t apply to private health facilities or specialized medical centres. Doctors can use ultraviolet (UV) equipment on people who need special treatments for their skin, even if they are under 18.


Direct or indirect advertising promoting artificial tanning is prohibited if:

  • it is directed at minors; or
  • it is false or misleading, or is likely to create an erroneous impression about the health effects or health risks of artificial tanning, especially if it suggests that artificial tanning equipment is harmless.

All advertising promoting artificial tanning must clearly state the prohibition against providing artificial tanning services to minors, and must include the Minister’s warning prescribed by regulation about the adverse health effects of artificial tanning.

In addition to prescribing the warning about the adverse health effects of artificial tanning, the Minister may make regulations determining the standards applicable to the warning and to the prohibition referred to above.

Source: [14] [15]

Age Restriction

In Saskatchewan regulations ban owners and operators of tanning facilities from permitting youth under 18 years of age from using UV tanning equipment.

Tanning Bed Regulations

Tanning bed operators/owners are required to:

  • Register with the health authority;
  • Prohibit youth under 18 years of age from using UV tanning equipment in a tanning facility;
  • Request proof of age documentation.


Tanning bed owners/operators are required to post signage regarding age restrictions and health risks. They are also prohibited from advertising of UV tanning services to persons under the age of 18.

Source: [16]