The NDP’s health critic is urging the Ontario government to ban youth from using tanning beds.

The call by France Gelinas follows a study by the International Agency for Research that rates the cancer risk of UV tanning beds higher than arsenic.

Gelinas says in June 2008, a bill to prohibit artificial tanning for youth under the age of 18 passed second reading in the legislature.

But the bill is stuck in what Gelinas calls a legislative “no man’s land” because it hasn’t been sent to committee for debate.

She is urging the government to move quickly to strongly regulate tanning salons at the earliest date possible.

“More than 50,000 Ontario youth use tanning beds — and that is a major reason why skin cancer is the second most common cancer among youth,” said Gelinas in a statement.

In light of this report, we need to protect our youth immediately.”

Last fall, the Ontario arm of the Canadian Cancer Society said tanning salons ignore voluntary guidelines to limit youth tanning.

The report found that 60 per cent of Toronto salons did not prevent youth under age 16 from using their tanning beds as they are supposed to under Health Canada’s guidelines.