Tanning Bed Ban
October 11, 2011 by staff
Currently, anyone age 14 or younger is prohibited by law the use of a tanning bed, but 15 to 17 years may do so if they have permission from their parents.
But doctors say the green light to search for a teen to a golden glow is a bad idea.
“All you have to do is walk in the mall or visit any of the various communities of the local beach to see the age of children who are bronze and obviously have been tanning – whether on the beach or by other means,”said Dr. Jack Jacoub, medical oncologist at the Cancer Institute at Orange Coast Memorial MemorialCare Medical Center in Fountain Valley. “A good example is to look after the girls for dances and social gatherings.”
But, he says, “The younger you are, the more likely the cells are in the DNA damaging effects of UV rays. This damage can accumulate and cause cancer in the future.”
The bill’s author, Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) says 30 other states have some restrictions on teen tanning UV radiation, but California would be the first to set the upper age limit. Texas has a tanning bed ban for people under 16 1 / 2. New York, Illinois, Ohio and Rhode Island, currently have ongoing bills similar to SB 746 in California.
Several countries in Europe, including France and England have banned tanning beds for anyone under 18, according to Lieu, and planes from Brazil to ban tanning beds for people of all ages.
The bill, signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday, was sponsored by the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery and the Melanoma Foundation of AIM and the support of other medical groups and insurance.
The Indoor Tanning Association opposed the ban, saying that there are already standards in place of the Department of Consumer Affairs and Food and Drug Administration. Up to 10 percent of tanning salon customers are said to be under 18 years.
But Lieu said in its website, “unanimously Supporters cite the overwhelming evidence showing those who use tanning beds before age 35 increases the lifetime risk of melanoma by 75 percent.”
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