International Skin Cancer Awareness Network

International Skin Cancer Awareness Network


Fabutan claims it will enforce ban on teens tanning

Doug McNabb, CEO of Fabutan made the following claims in March 2007:

  • Press release"Fabutan Sun Tan Studios today announced it will be strictly enforcing its teen tanning policy. This means anyone less than 16 years of age must be accompanied by a parent when indoor tanning, while 16 to 17-year-old customers will require a parent's signature of consent before being allowed to tan."

    He then proclaims that without the tanning bed industry our civilization would probably be severely Vitamin-D deficient.

    "We believe a tanning bed is the most reliable, effective, and controlled source of vitamin D available. We're proud of our involvement at the grassroots level teaching Canadians how to get their vitamin D and enjoy their sun exposure responsibly."
  • Sunbeds, tanning and UV exposure - World Health Organization statement

    Fabutan burned by the Competition Bureau

    Consent Agreement Annoucement pending - January 18, 2006

    We expect the consent agreement between Fabutan and the Competition Bureau to be registered with the Competition Tribunal this week. Once it is registered, the agreement will have the effect of a court order,

  • requiring Fabutan to not make any representations that convey the impression that moderate tanning has been proven to have health benefits unless those benefits have been scientifically demonstrated

  • requiring Fabutan to not make statements conveying the impression that moderate tanning has been proven to provide certain health benefits, including prevention of cancer, heart or cardio vascular conditions, osteoporosis, seasonal affective disorder or stimulation of the metabolism, unless these effects have been scientifically demonstrated.

    The agreement allows Fabutan to make the statement:

    'Vitamin D can be maintained or increased as a result of a
    tanning session in which the tanning equipment incorporates UBV irradiance.'

    Any statements concerning exposure to UV-B and Vitamin D and any possible health benefits related to Vitamin D must be framed within the context that tanning may cause photoaging of the skin and skin cancer and that tanning is not required to generate Vitamin D in the body, mild exposure is sufficient, dietary supplements are an alternative, and finally, that the association of increased levels of vitamin D with reduced risk of cancer (ovarian, breast, colon, prostate) Multiple Sclerosis and diabetes has not been proven.

  • Fabutan's web site is void of any mention of the agreement as November 10, 2015.

  • Fabutan and Competition Bureau reach agreement on Vitamin D health benefits from ultraviolet light - December 21, 2005 - This press release from Fabutan's Doug McNabb was pulled but archived on We wonder why it was pulled right after the Competition Bureau ruled on their marketing techniques.

  • Competition Bureau targets Fabutan for false claims -

    OTTAWA, March 31, 2005 — The Competition Bureau announced today that it has filed an application for an order with the Competition Tribunal to stop Calgary-based Fabutan Sun Tan Studios and its president Douglas McNabb from making false representations to the public that there are health benefits associated with indoor tanning, such as a reduced risk of cancer.

    Sunbed industry reviewed in Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology

  • The indoor UV tanning industry: A review of skin cancer risk, health benefit claims, and regulation - December 2005

    Health care providers must increase efforts to warn and educate the public and government about the dangers of UV radiation. Indoor tanning, with growing popularity among both pediatric and adult populations, is a dangerous practice leading to a vast array of adverse effects. Government regulation of indoor tanning is insufficient and hampered by lobbying of the indoor tanning industry. Increased lobbying is needed from the medical arena to implement and enforce legislation that, in compliance with WHO guidelines, bans sunbed use for all persons younger than 18 years and that regulates the use of this carcinogen for all at risk.

  • Institutionalized lawlessness - Financial Post - January 14, 2006 Terence Corcoran who defended the tobacco industry for years during the last decade of the 20th Century now feels that Fabutan has been handed a raw deal.

        Artificial Tanning Symposium - London, Ontario - April 5, 2005

    World leaders in research, public health policy, prevention and treatment presented the most current research on the health effects of artificial tanning. The prevailing approach of the rapidly growing and increasingly organized artificial tanning industry is to claim artificial UV is a safe way to tan which may offer a number of health benefits as well, including Vitamin-D and relief from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

    These myths create a culture of misinformation and confusion among consumers that leads to risky decision-making. One of the main purposes of the symposium is to debunk these harmful myths with credible research.

  • Report of the Indoor Tanning Working Group (ITWG) - December 9, 2011
  • Search Google News for Tanning

    CTV's coverage of the WHO announcement - Watch four videos of recent coverage. CTV had previously gone undercover and exposed rampant problems in tanning salons.

  • Dermatologists commend HHS, CDC, Surgeon General actions to safeguard the public from skin cancer
    The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) opposes indoor tanning and supports a ban on the production and sale of indoor tanning equipment for non-medical purposes. The hazards of indoor tanning have been well documented from experimental sources as well as from epidemiologic studies and clinical observations.

    Unless and until the FDA bans the sale and use of tanning equipment for non-medical purposes, the AADA supports the following requirements for indoor tanning facilities:

    1. No minor should be permitted to use tanning devices.
    2. A Surgeon General’s warning should be placed on all tanning devices.
    3. The warning label required of manufacturers for all tanning devices should read, “Ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancer and other nonreversible forms of damage to the skin.”
    4. A warning sign listing instructions for correct use of the tanning device and potential hazards of incorrect use, which includes information regarding the recommended limits of weekly and yearly exposure dose and the recommended limit on the frequency of usage, should be conspicuously posted next to each tanning device.
    5. A warning statement defining the potential hazards and consequences of exposure to Ultraviolet A radiation (UVA), which includes information regarding the recommended limits of weekly and yearly exposure dose and the limit on the frequency of usage, should be signed by each patron.
    6. All tanning devices should be inspected regularly for defects by a local or state public health department; written reports should be kept for each inspection.
    7. Tanning device operators should receive adequate training to correctly operate the tanning facility and tanning devices, recognize injury or overexposure to Ultraviolet radiation, determine skin type of patrons, and implement emergency procedures in case of injury.
    8. Tanning device operators should be required to provide sanitary, protective eyewear to each patron for use during tanning.
    9. Tanning device operators should limit exposure time to the exposure time recommended by the device manufacturer on the tanning device or in the device operating manual.
    10. No person or facility should advertise the use of any Ultraviolet A or Ultraviolet B tanning device using wording such as “safe,” “safe tanning,” “no harmful rays,” “no adverse effect,” or similar wording or concepts.

  • Health Canada proposes sweeping changes in sunbed regulations
    Reported by the CBC - March 18, 2004 My comments - These proposed regulations are totally useless. Health Canada doesn't have the guts or the manpower to do anything to stop the abuse by sunbed operators. A warning label on a sunbed is not going to stop teens from going, and it's certainly not going to stop the abuse by operators who have the older beds?

    Children and Sunbeds

  • Sunbed abuse of children is out of control - Pediatrics - June 2002 Use of Sunscreen, Sunburning Rates, and Tanning Bed Use Among More Than 10 000 US Children and Adolescents Huge study done by researchers at Boston University that involved over 10,000 boys and girls age 12-18 from all 50 States. Nearly 10% of respondents used a tanning bed during the previous year. Girls were far more likely than boys to report tanning bed use (14.4 vs 2.4), and older girls (ages 15Ğ18) were far more likely than younger girls (ages 12Ğ14) to report tanning bed use (24.6% vs 4.7). Tanning bed use increased from 7% among 14-year-old girls to 16% by age 15, and more than doubled again by age 17 (35%; N = 244). Conclusion: Nationally coordinated campaigns with strong policy components must be developed and sustained to prevent skin cancer in a new generation of children and adolescents.

        Sun Magic - Kitchener, Ontario

    On June 4, 2002 I learned that one of my 15 year old acne patients was working at the Sun Magic tanning emporium at the corner of Ottawa and Westmount in Kitchener. I could not believe my ears, and my eyes when I looked at her. She told me that the owners of the franchise had her cleaning the beds for clients, and she was also given a large supply of coupons for free visits to hand out to her friends at school.

        Kokomo's - London, Ontario - May 2002
    I would like to hear from anyone who brought their child to any suntan parlor in Canada. We have had recent experiences with 13 and 14 year old children who were signed up at a Kokomo's suntanning parlour in London, Ontario. At least one of the girls was on potent anti-acne medication and should never have been allowed to tan, even with parental permission. The city of London has done nothing to curb the child abuse that occurs when parents unwittingly take their kids to get ready for Grade 8 graduation, or for the prom. This particular company's web site criticizes efforts by the dermatology community to educate the public about the risks of artificial tanning. It is sinfully lacking in honesty, especially when it concerns the exposure of young children to UVB and UVA.

  • London-Middlesex Health Unit Safety Regulations & Guidelines are now history. Their recommendations for tanning salons provides no enforcement, reviews no training of facility staff, and stipulates no penalties for abuse. In other words, after numerous complaints, major articles in the local media, the Health Unit caves in to the sunbed industry. Who the hell is running the show there? What in the world are they afraid of?

    Sunbeds can be deadly

  • Tanning Devices May Contribute to Incidence of Common Skin Cancers Press release - Journal of the National Cancer Institute
  • New study shows risk of skin cancer more than double - Bred Evenson - National Post A new U.S. study suggests people who use tanning beds face an increased risk of developing two common types of skin cancer, basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma.

    Good Life and Sunbed Promotion

        The Goodlife Fitness chain has a motto:

    To belong where caring individuals are committed to educating you to develop a more energetic lifestyle increasing fitness, longevity and fun.
    Now how does the promotion of sunbeds in their clubs add to fitness, longevity, or fun? Did you know that artificial tanning more than doubles the risk of some common skin cancers? Do they care?

  • Good Life Fitness and others comment on sunbed use by 14 year olds

    Doctor Says Tanning Salons Can Be Health Hazard

    A doctor in southwestern Ontario wants tanning salons regulated more closely. Dr. Terry Polevoy is a pediatrician who runs skin care clinics in London and Kitchener. He wants to see age restrictions on who can use the facilities and better training for the staff.

    The following day two folks rebutted Dr. Polevoy on the CBC.

    On Tuesday, we heard from pediatrician Dr. Terry Polevoy. He'd like to see more regulation of tanning salons.

    Dr. Polevoy would like to see people under 18 prohibited from using them. And he wants better training for staff.

    We wanted to get reaction to his proposals from people in the business.

    Michelle Colwell is the director of national member services for the Goodlife Fitness Club chain. Calla Leitch is the owner of the Tahiti Breezes Sun Salon in London.

    They did agree that they would welcome regulation. The Good Life Fitness empire owns 55 "health" clubs in Canada.

    They all have tanning beds. They say that they don't allow anyone under age 18 to tan. I wonder what it would take for a 16 year old to try? Calla Leitch says she has allowed 14 year old girls to tan before their graduation, but would consider self regulation to limit exposure to those under 18.

    Both of them missed the boat on marketing of the units by industry sales people. Neither of them admitted that their beds have ever injured anyone. That is absolutely ridiculous. I assume that the Good Life Fitness Clubs would have to keep written records of injuries on file as part of their 200 page training manual.

    A list of their clubs in Canada are found on the "club locator" links. They say that they all have sunbeds, but I don't see any guidelines posted on their web site. But, they do say that they provide a chiropractor or doctor/physiotherapist at some of them. What do these licensed health professionals say about tanning?

    I'd like to ask their president about this notion that tanning under artificial lights at their centres contributes to fitness, energy, lifestyle or fun, but so far he has never responded personally to any communications about this issue.

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