Published on June 8, 2012
On June 6, 2012, Chicago’s City Council became the latest jurisdiction to ban minors under age 18 from tanning salons. Tanning facilities that break city law will be fined between $100 and $250. The ban will go into effect in the next few weeks.
Maryland’s Howard County was the first to ban children under age 18 from tanning indoors, in 2010, and more recently legislation has been introduced at the state level. In October, 2011, California banned children under age 18 from using tanning salons, and in May, 2012, Vermont followed suit. Many other states, including Illinois, bar children under 14 from tanning indoors. Texas prohibits children under 16.5 years of age from tanning indoors, while Wisconsin bars children under age 16.
Following the uproar caused by New Jersey tanning mom Patricia Krentcil, who was accused of taking her five-year-old daughter into a tanning booth (a charge Krentcil denies), the New Jersey state Assembly voted to ban minors from tanning indoors; the measure will now go to the state Senate.
In addition, during their 2011-2012 legislative sessions, 10 states, including Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota and New York, introduced legislation that would prohibit minors from tanning indoors.
Indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners have an increased risk of all forms of skin cancer; making just four visits to a tanning salon a year boosts users’ chances of developing basal and squamous cell carcinoma by 15 percent, and potentially deadly melanomas by 11 percent. Overall, indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors. An estimated 2.5 million teens tan indoors in the US annually.