SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — New surveys have shown that more teens than ever are tanning in a salon, but new health studies have indicated that the risks may be worse than previously known.
Teens under 18 years of age already need parental permission to use tanning salons — minors under 14 are banned — but California lawmakers will soon vote on whether minors should be prevented from tanning at all.
Senator Ted W. Lieu (D-Torrance) sponsored Senate Bill 746, which goes up for a vote Thursday, after global health officials raised the alarm about too much exposure to ultraviolet rays.
“The World Health Organization in 2009 elevated tanning beds to a level one carcinogen,” Lieu said. “We simply believe parents should not be able to consent for their children to go ahead and have this damage done to their skin.”
The bill would be comparable to banning teens from drinking or smoking regardless of parental permission, Lieu said.
Workers at Planet Beach, one of Sacramento’s 41 tanning salons, were not happy to learn about the proposal and called the measure another example of government overreach in personal lives.
“I think it’s government trying to take control of somebody’s life in all aspects. It’s just another way of grabbing on,” said Sue Dickman.
One of the sponsors of the bill, the California Dermatologists Society, said people who even sporadically use indoor tanning before the age of 35 increase their risk of some form of melanoma by 75 percent.