Raleigh, N.C. — Legislation in the state House suggests some people may be too young to tan.
House Bill 18 would bar anyone younger than 18 from using a tanning bed unless they first obtained a physician's prescription. Parental consent wouldn't even be enough to allow a youth to tan, if the proposal is approved.
"We have strong, strong, irrefutable evidence that this is the best thing to do," said bill sponsor Rep. Jim Fulghum, R-Wake.
Fulghum, a physician, said the Youth Skin Cancer Prevention Act is one of the first things he wants to accomplish in his freshman term in the House.
"We are now aware of the severe scientific evidence coming in that some bad things have happened with excessive exposure to UVA and UVB (radiation)," he said.
Thirty-two other states have some form of age restriction for indoor tanning. California and Vermont ban it for anyone under 18, while the others require parental consent.
A similar bill was introduced in the Senate two years ago, but it died in committee. Fulghum said his bill – he calls it a "public health measure" – has strong support from the Republican majority in the House.
"It would definitely hurt business because we have a lot of girls who come in and do things like pageants and get ready," said Jenna Groat, assistant manager of a Planet Beach tanning salon in Raleigh.
Groat estimated that 20 to 40 percent of the salon's customers are younger than 18.
"I feel like, if the parents are OK with letting their child tan with their consent, then I think that’s ... really their right to say 'yes' or 'no' to that, and I don’t feel like anyone should tell them what they can and can't do," she said.
Fulghum said that argument "is tantamount to saying it's their right to let (their children) drink under 18," and he said he doesn't expect stiff opposition from parents or the tanning industry.
"They have to admit – their literature shows – their job is to expose people to about 12 times the strength of the sun," he said of tanning salons.
I personally think that this is a good idea, but I know some people may not agree.
I, personally, think its a good idea. A lot of young people want to stay tan all year around, which is cool don't get me wrong, but to much of anything is not good for you. Plus, who knows your skin may benefit a bit more from less exposure.
There are things that doctors.... I give up on thinking of a way to put this the Majority of Doctors in the United States of America are terrible at this point.stare No escaping that. So they can't diagnose squat. Not really anything we can do about that.
I also noticed that many teens found out tanning wasn't for them by trying to tan in tanning beds, so that experience is gone.
I don't know if things will outweigh other things. I would want some request and evaluations available by the government if someone recognizes a condition in their child but cannot get their Pediatrician to Diagnose it. Give parents some options and alternatives. Parents ( and teens) may need some educational pamplets of Myths as well. There are people that think Tanning their child before 10 will get rid of birth marks or freckles in a year for example.
What about an upper age limit to stop cougars from turning themselves into leather couches? smile
Personally I'm for this law due to how much of a problem skin cancer can be and due to how the damage they do now in their youth creates the skin cancer years later. Young people don't see a problem because they and their friends don't get skin cancer right away.
I doubt the tanning salons will lose too much business. What is likely to happen is they will just sell more spray on tans. I also wonder if this law will affect home tanning. You can purchase tanning beds for private use. I wonder if it will be illegal for a parent to let their child tan at home or just those places selling tans as a business.
Also - WTF?? Fulghum said that argument "is tantamount to saying it's their right to let (their children) drink under 18," and he said he doesn't expect stiff opposition from parents or the tanning industry.
Um, it actually IS legal for a parent to let a child under 18 consume alcohol if it is their own child. In WA state the age is 21 but the idea is the same. The parental exemption reads - (3) Subsections (1) and (2)(a) of this section do not apply to liquor given or permitted to be given to a person under the age of twenty-one years by a parent or guardian and consumed in the presence of the parent or guardian.