Christine Radogno

Senate republican Leader | 41st District

News

Radogno bill to protect minors from potentially deadly effects of indoor tanning

Friday, February 15, 2013

Citing studies confirming tanning beds are medically-proven to be carcinogenic to humans, State Sen. Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) introduced legislation Feb. 15 to protect minors from the potentially deadly effects of indoor tanning beds.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of developing melanoma due to tanning bed use increases by 75 percent for people under age 35, and the British Medical Journal agrees the earlier people start tanning, the greater the risk they will develop skin cancer,” said Radogno. “There are plenty of safe tanning alternatives available, and there is absolutely no need for young people to take this unnecessary health risk.”

Senate Bill 2244 would prohibit minors age 17 and younger from tanning in indoor tanning beds that emit ultraviolet rays. Currently minors 14 – 17 are allowed to tan if they can provide a parental signature; however, this would be restricted if Radogno’s legislation is signed into law. Spray tanning booths are exempt from the legislation.

“Just as we don’t give children the option to smoke, they shouldn’t be allowed to tan indoors—which medical studies show is a dangerous, and even deadly, practice,” Radogno said, who noted that in 2009 experts at the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, moved tanning beds and other sources of ultraviolet radiation into the top cancer risk category—the same classification given to arsenic and mustard gas.  “The light from indoor tanning beds is considered a Class 1 carcinogen, and many respected medical experts agree sunless tanning does increase the risk of cancer.”

Many states have laws regulating tanning by minors. While California and Vermont are the only states with an outright ban on minors under age 18 using tanning beds, studies show national momentum in that direction. In 2010, 14 different states worked to pass legislation prohibiting minors from tanning indoors, and in 2012 that number increased to 20 states pursuing an outright indoor tanning ban for minors.

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