Bill Would Ban Minors from Tanning Beds

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) introduced legislation Friday that would prohibit teens 17 and younger from tanning in sunless tanning beds.

New legislation introduced Friday would prohibit all Illinois minors from using sunless tanning beds.

Senate Bill 2244, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), would ban Illinois minors age 17 and younger from sunless tanning.

Currently, minors ages 14 to 17 are allowed to tan if they provide a parent's signature.

Radogno said in a press release that lawmakers need to take more serious action to prevent the "potentially deadly effects" of tanning.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

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, according to Radogno. 

“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,” she said. “There are plenty of safe tanning alternatives available, and there is absolutely no need for young people to take this unnecessary health risk.”

Illinois, California and Vermont are among states that have recently passed laws to restrict minors from visiting indoor tanning salons. California and Vermont are the only states with an outright ban on minors under age 18.

On Feb. 11, Oregon lawmakers introduced a bill that would require anyone younger than 18 to show a doctor's note before using a tanning bed.

In 2010, 14 different states worked to pass legislation prohibiting minors from tanning indoors, and in 2012 that number increased to 20, Radogno said.

Do you think minors should be banned from sunless tanning beds? Tell us in the comments.

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Donna Moncivaiz March 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM
There isn't anything better that our lawmakers could do. This bill would save lives. The risk of melanoma increases about 75% when people use tanning beds before age 30. And melanoma isn't just skin cancer. It kills.
Donna Moncivaiz March 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM
I'm a parent. I let my daughter tan and she ended up with a melanoma on her back that required surgery to remove. She is also now at much higher risk to develop melanoma again. I let her tan because I didn't know the dangers. I tanned myself pretty frequently. My melanoma was diagnosed almost 2 years ago, and has spread. I'm Stage IV now. I know 3 women who lost daughters in their 20s due to melanoma. No parent likes to be told what they can and can't do with regard to their kids, but most parents don't know how dangerous they are! This is no joke. Senator Radogno's bill would save lives. There is no doubt.
Donna Moncivaiz March 11, 2013 at 10:38 AM
Someone dies every hour from melanoma. That's not a "handful of people."
Infamous Steve March 11, 2013 at 01:01 PM
Someone dies pretty much every second of every day....Does that mean we should ban life to keep everyone safe?
Donna Moncivaiz March 11, 2013 at 01:41 PM
So Infamous Steve...do we not (most of us anyway) do what we can to protect ourselves from things that are bad for us? We don't let kids smoke or drink. Why? It damages their health. No different for tanning beds. They cause a VERY nasty cancer. Trust me...you do not want anyone you care about to get melanoma. We should absolutely live life. But we should also try to prevent needless suffering and death where we can.


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