No more tanning beds for California teens

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No more tanning beds for California teens
SACRAMENTO, CA (BDCi) – California becomes the first state to ban teenagers under the age of 18 from using tanning beds. Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law Sunday three health care bills, including two designed to protect teenagers from skin cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

State Sen. Ted Lieu said he first tried, and failed, in 2007 to make it illegal for people between the ages of 14 and 18 to walk into a facility and use ultraviolet beds to tan. Four years later, his effort finally paid off.

“I feel great,” Lieu told CNN of the bill’s passage. “I believe it will help save lives and prevent unnecessary suffering.”

The new law goes into effect January 1, 2012.

Previously, those between 14 and 18 could use tanning beds if they had a parent or legal guardian’s permission. That is no longer allowed, though the use of “a phototherapy device … used by or under the direct supervision of a qualified physician or surgeon” and certain services offered at tanning facilities, like spray tans, are still legal for young people.

While most states regulate how minors can use tanning facilities, California’s recently enacted restrictions go further than any other state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Some counties also address the issue, with the same organization noting that Howard County, Maryland, was the first jurisdiction to ban indoor tanning for all under age 18.

Governments in other countries have taken similar actions, with Brazil banning tanning beds altogether. Such steps come after the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, in 2009 classified “UV-emitting tanning devices as ‘carcinogenic to humans.'”

The determination was made after reviews of more than 20 epidemiological studies found that one’s skin cancer risk increases 75% when a person starts using a tanning device before they turn 30, the agency noted on its website.

Lieu explained that excessive tanning at an early age can be especially perilous because tanning and its negative effects are “cumulative.” But he said that one concern is how tanning salons market such services.

By Janete Weinstein
Source: CNN
Photo: Google
9 October 2011
11:11 p.m.

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