Howard County Becomes First in Nation to Ban Minors From Tanning Beds

The Board Voted 9-0 to Approve the Proposed Regulations.

Columbia, MD November 10, 2009, 8:40pm - Tonight the Howard County Board of Health voted unanimously to approve regulations to ban individuals under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning devices. Howard County is now the first jurisdiction in the country to provide comprehensive protection for children against the dangers of indoor tanning.

The vote took place after a large public hearing held this evening at the Howard County Health Department. Members of the public, representatives from health groups in the community, as well as experts on cancer and dermatology testified before the Board. Testimony was presented both in support and in opposition to the proposed regulations. These regulations will also regulate the sanitation and hygiene practices of tanning facilities.

The regulations were formally introduced by Health Officer Dr. Peter L. Beilenson on September 22, 2009. Since that time, people have been able to submit written comments to the Board.

"The residents of Howard County should be proud of the important decision made tonight by the Board of Health to protect the health and safety of our children," says Dr. Beilenson.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently classified indoor tanning devices as cancer-causing agents, and preventing youth access to tanning beds is recommended by the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Dermatology.

The regulations take effect on Thursday, November 12, 2009.