Tanning bed operators

Effective May 1, 2014 it is illegal to sell, offer for sale, or provide tanning services to anyone under 18 years of age in Ontario. Public Health Inspectors will respond to complaints regarding tanning premises to ensure compliance with the Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds) 2013 (Legislative Assembly of Ontario).


Operators must be aware of their responsibilities under the Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds) 2013:


The Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds) 2013 prohibits:

Examples of advertising or marketing directed at youth include, but are not limited to:


Operators must post the required health warning and identification signs.

Under the Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds), 2013, tanning premises operators must ensure the following signs are prominently posted:

  1. Point of sale warning sign
    Post within one metre of each cash register (28cm x 35.5cm).
  2. Health warning sign
    Post within one metre of each piece of tanning equipment (21.5cm x 28cm).
  3. Age restriction and identification entrance sign
    Post above (or close to) door handle on every entrance of establishment (18cm x 9cm).
  4. Employee reminder point of sale sign
    Post where visible to staff at point of sale (18cm x 9cm).

Protective eye wear

Operators must require the use of protective eyewear and provide instructions on proper use. Protective eyewear is a device worn by the user of tanning equipment to reduce the ultraviolet radiation reaching his or her eyes directly or indirectly.

Tanning equipment operators must:

Each piece of tanning equipment must be accompanied by enough protective eyewear to equip the maximum number of persons who may, at the same time, be exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the tanning equipment. Overexposure causes skin and eye burns!

Radiation emitting devices regulations

In accordance with the Radiation Emitting Devices Regulations (Government of Canada), protective eye wear must have a spectral transmittance that is:

(a) not more than 0.001 over the wavelength range from 200 nm to 320 nm;
(b) not more than 0.01 over the wavelength range from 320 nm to 400 nm; and
(c) sufficient over wavelengths greater than 400 nm to enable the user to read the labels and use the control specified in paragraph 9(a).

Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for tanning equipment, including protective eyewear.
Ask for identification

Ask for identification

It is illegal to sell, offer for sale or provide tanning services to anyone under 18 years of age in Ontario. The Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds) 2013 requires tanning service operators to ask for identification from anyone who appears to be less than 25 years old when selling, offering to sell or providing tanning services or ultraviolet light treatments for tanning.

During a tanning service transaction, employees must:

Acceptable forms of identification

Operators may accept any item of identification that includes a photograph, a date of birth, and that reasonably appears to have been issued by a government.

Tips for checking identification

Tips and things to remember when checking identification:

  1. Hold the identification card in your hand.
  2. Ensure the owner of the identification is the person in front of you.
  3. Never accept expired identification as proof of age. Expired identification is never valid.
  4. Calculate the date of birth.
    Do not assume that a customer that hands you their identification is over 18 years of age. Have a cheat sheet showing the date of birth that would make an individual 18 years of age or greater.
  5. Ask for another piece of identification.
    Generally, people with counterfeit/borrowed identification do not have another piece of identification, whereas most people with legitimate identification will. While you have their identification, ask them their date of birth or address.

If you have any doubt about a person’s age or about their identification being altered, invalid, counterfeit or otherwise, you always have the right to refuse the sale. As a business that falls under the Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Tanning Beds) 2013, you have a legal obligation to ensure that you comply with legislation.

This item was last modified on November 18, 2015