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Proposed Law Would Ban All Illinois 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!

Patrick Henry February 19, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Always the hard hitting impact legislation here in dysfunctional Illinois!
Rebecca February 19, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Yes, UV light from tanning beds is classified as a class 1 carcinogen...why? Because it scientifically contains the same photons as natural sunlight, which is also rated as a class 1 carcinogen. Shall we ban laying on the beach as well? Interestingly enough, the 75% increase cited in this article does not implicate tanning salons, it actually exonerates them. That study is cherry-picked to make tanning beds sound scary, but to do so, the purveyors had to rely heavily on data from home use of tanning beds and use by doctors for medical phototherapy. The research actually does not show a statistically significant increase from tanning salon use, while the 75% statistic comes from a 40% increase from home use and a 96% increase from medical phototherapy. With that knowledge, how does it make sense to ban tanning salons?
Mary Ann Lopez February 19, 2013 at 09:30 PM
Just to make clear, the story does not say to ban tanning salons. It is seeking to ban minors, under 17, from visiting tanning salons.
Illinois Senate Republican Staff February 20, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Please note, this bill deals specifically with the deadly effects of indoor tanning beds which emit ultraviolet rays. Medical research has shown the light from these indoor tanning beds to be carcinogenic. "Sunless tanning" which utilizes spray-on tanning would be exempt under this proposal. Senator Radogno

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