SALT LAKE CITY – A bill that would prohibit anyone under the age of 13 from using tanning bed passed out out of the Senate Health and Human Services committee today. The bill would also require anyone from the age of 14-18 who uses a tanning bed to have a parent accompany to them to the tanning facility.
“This legislation is designed to reduce deaths from melanoma. Utah ranks #1 in deaths from melanoma… we have the highest in the nation for melanoma cases. We know that 23% of Utah females, grades 10 through 12, our teenagers, are tanning at least once a year. About 5% of them are tanning more than 40 times a year,” said Senator Pat Jones–D, Holladay, the bill’s sponsor.
Senator Jones went on to explain that indoor tanning beds work by shining ultraviolet, UV radiation on to the skin. UV radiation damages our DNA, and that is what causes skin to go darker.
“This is more dangerous than the midday sun. It’s more intense and a larger scope and percentage of the skin is exposed to the radiation,” she said.
The World Health Organization’s International Agency Institute for Research on Cancer has classified tanning beds as human carcinogens. They have recommended that no one under the age of 18 years of age use a tanning bed.
The bill now goes to the Senate floor for debate.