A Victory for Our Kids’ Health

by Senator Patricia Jones
Senate Minority Caucus Manager

Senator Pat JonesUtah’s kids scored a big victory this past legislative session with the passage of SB52, Health Regulations for Public Indoor Tanning Beds (P. Jones).

The new law requires IN PERSON parental consent once a year for minors in order to use commercial tanning beds. At that time, the parents will be required to read warnings about the harmful effects of UV rays from tanning beds and to sign for the maximum number of tanning sessions their child can receive that year.

The new law also provides uniformity throughout the state, resulting in more fairness for businesses. Currently, some counties have lenient standards while others are more restrictive.

SB52 gives parents more control and knowledge about how often and where their kids tan. After reading the warnings, some parents may choose not to allow their minors to tan; others will at least be better informed of the dangers.

Melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, is rising rapidly. Utah is among the top 5 states per capita in deaths due to melanoma. In 1940, the risk of melanoma was 1 in 1,500. By 2010, the risk is expected to be 1 in 50.

Ultraviolet rays generated from tanning beds are 2 to 3 times more intense than laying out in the sun. UV rays in tanning beds penetrate the skin deeper, affecting the skin’s collagen, elastic fibers, and blood vessels, causing premature aging of the skin.

How did your senator and representative vote? Click here for the yeas and nays.

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