Bill That Would Ban Teens From Tanning Beds Closer To Law

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A bill that would ban minors from fake baking is a step closer to becoming law.

The bill that would ban minors from using ultraviolet tanning beds was approved by the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee and sent to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

As of now, teens between 14 and 17 are required by law to get permission from a parent or guardian to use tanning beds. Children under 14 are banned from using the beds.

“Recent scientific research has shown that tanning beds cause skin cancer,” said Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, the author of SB 746. “The younger kids are when they start using tanning beds, the greater the damage to their skin and the more likely they are to die of skin cancer.”

Lieu cited studies showing that those who use tanning beds before age 35 increase their lifetime risk of melanoma by 75 percent. The Academy of American Pediatrics, which supports the bill, says that the intensity of radiation produced by large, powerful tanning units may be 10 to 15 times higher than that of the midday sun.

Ultraviolet rays have been declared carcinogens by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the FDA.

The Indoor Tanning Association opposes the measure, saying tanning salons are already burdened by regulation and the new bill would have a negative impact on the industry statewide. The association estimates that minors make up 5 to 10 percent of a typical facility’s customer base. The association also argues that because the majority of tanning businesses are owned by women, the bill would disproportionately hurt female business owners.

Thirty states have restrictions on teen tanning but, if passed, this law would be the toughest imposed anywhere in the U.S., Lieu said. Several European countries have banned minors from using tanning beds and Brazil has banned their use entirely, according to Lieu.

No date has been scheduled for the Appropriations Committee to consider the bill, which was approved by the Senate by a 25-9 vote on June 1.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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