SkinCancerNet Article
Laws Protect Minors from Tanning Beds

As scientific evidence about the dangers of indoor tanning grows, medical experts in the United States and Europe are calling for stricter regulations on tanning beds. Their voices are being heard.

On June 22, Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill into law that will prohibit anyone younger than 16.5 years of age from using indoor tanning devices. This bill also requires salons to obtain in-person parental consent for those between 16.5 and 18 years of age. More than 30 states have passed laws that place restrictions on minors’ access to tanning beds.

A few days earlier, on June 19, the German parliament passed a law that bans anyone under the age of 18 from going to a tanning salon due to the risk of developing skin cancer. According to Agence France-Presse, German dermatologist and skin cancer researcher, Dr. Eckhard Breitbart, said, “If people under 35 regularly use solariums [tanning beds], the risk of getting malignant melanoma, the third deadliest cancer that there is, rises by 75%."

Both the BBC and the Daily Mail, a British newspaper, reported in mid-June that medical experts are urging the British government to ban anyone under the age of 18 from using a tanning bed and to prohibit unstaffed tanning salons. According to the Daily Mail, these requests came after scientists on the Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (Comare) disclosed in a report that “at least 100 Britons die each year from using tanning beds and hundreds more suffer malignant cancer or disfiguring injuries.”

To learn more about the bill passed in Texas, read American Academy of Dermatology Association Commends Texas for Enacting the Most Restrictive Indoor Tanning Law in the Country.

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Page last updated 7/8/09

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