By Nancy Morrill
BCWAC President Emerita
On Tuesday, May 6, 2014, as part of the Coalition’s Annual Advocacy Day in Harrisburg we learned that a bill Rep. Frank Farry had introduced just became law that day, going into effect in 60 days. This is legislation designed to protect girls (and women) who visit tanning salons from unnecessary and dangerous exposure to cancer.
Did you realize that 70% of persons using tanning salons are females aged 14-29 – and that the World Health Organization classifies radiation emitted from tanning beds as a Class I carcinogen, the highest level of carcinogen in the same category as tobacco and asbestos?
Forty other states already regulate indoor tanning. The Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery says that melanoma is the most common form of cancer in your adults aged 25-29 and the second most common type in those aged 15-29.
This new legislation, the Indoor Tanning Regulation Act, prohibits youths 16 and under from using a tanning facility; it includes a “prom carve-out” for 17-year-olds requiring parental consent, and requires all tanning facilities in Pennsylvania to register with the state, pay an annual fee and post notification to patrons that tanning is carcinogenic. The law also requires inspections and safety standards for all tanning facilities.
The dangers of ultraviolet light exposure are not widely appreciated by parents and youth. Let us hope that this new legislation will heighten the awareness of all of us who think having a tan is attractive.