Minimum Age For Tanning in California

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California Governor Jerry Brown has just recently signed a bill which raises the minimum tanning age from 14 to 18. Prior to signing the bill, children at least fourteen years old but below eighteen are required to submit their parents consent before lying down in tanning bands—but not anymore. This is the first time in the USA that any person below 18 years old will be banned from tanning service salons, lying in tanning beds and other devices in the commercial premises of California.

The new law will take effect on the first day of 2012 and as expected, the said legislation was attacked by the Indoor Tanning Association. But on the other hand, the said bill was also supported by several health agencies like the American Cancer Society. The new law was sponsored by the California Society of Dermatology & Dermatological Surgery and the AIM at Melanoma Foundation.

Says Senator Ted Lieu, a significant percentage of teenagers are not aware of the risks that they put upon themselves when they have themselves tanned. “If everyone knew the true dangers of tanning beds
they’d be shocked. I praise Gov. Brown for his courage in taking this much-needed step to protect some of California’s most vulnerable residents – our kids – from what the ‘House of Medicine’ has conclusively shown is lethally dangerous: ultraviolet-emitting radiation from tanning beds. If everyone knew the true dangers of tanning beds, they’d be shocked. Skin cancer is a rising epidemic and the leading cause of cancer death for women between 25 and 29.

Indoor tanning is especially harmful because of the intense and dangerous type of UV rays emitted from the tanning beds. Moreover the skin damage is cumulative, so the more exposure one gets younger in life, the worse the harmful effects will be.”

In a press release of the said Senator, he mentioned that people who undergo tanning before they reach the age of 35 increase their risks of suffering from melanoma in their lifetime by 75%.

On the other hand, Dr. Alex Miller of the California Society of Dermatology & Dermatological Surgery (CalDerm) said that “The California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery (CalDerm) and AIM at Melanoma Foundation, the bill’s two co-sponsors, applaud Governor Brown for taking the time to thoroughly understand the importance of this first-in-the-nation legislation. We also commend Senator Ted Lieu, his staff and the members of the California legislature who supported efforts to protect young Californians from the dangers of indoor tanning.”

And as anticipated, there are already noises heard from tanning salon associations or from people or industries closely involved with these services. Several people also wrote to the Governor about the status of those people who make use of tanning salons as treatment for their skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. And to answer this concern, tanning salons are also allowed to accept those below 18 years old with doctor’s prescription.




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