TRENTON – The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee advanced a bill that will increase restrictions for minors who want to use tanning beds, but passed on another bill that would have prohibited spray tanning for minors.
The committee approved A2933/A3640, which revises the law governing the use of tanning facilities by minors. Currently, a person under 14 years old is prohibited from using a tanning facility, but from 14 to 18 years old, they may use a tanning facility with the written authorization of their parent or legal guardian. Under this bill, sponsored by Assemblymen Gordon Johnson (D-37), of Englewood, and Kevin Ryan (D-36), of Nutley, minors between 14 and 18 could use spray tanning in a tanning facility with the written authorization of their parent or legal guardian, but no one under 18 years old would be allowed to use a tanning bed in a tanning facility under any circumstance.
The committee also included A2867 in their amended passage, a bill that would have imposed harsher restrictions. It would have prohibited all persons under 18 years old from using tanning facilities, even for spray tanning, a restriction that was not included in the final version.
The final version is intended to address the growing concern about the risk to youths who are exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the use of indoor tanning beds, according to sponsors.
“The incidence of melanoma has been steadily rising for the past 30 years, and it is believed that this increase is due to increased exposure to UV radiation as a consequence of individual behavior with regard to UV exposure from the sun and the use of indoor tanning beds,” according to the bill statement. “UV exposure is also associated with premature aging of the skin, suppression of the immune system, and eye damage. In 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer raised the classification of UV-emitting indoor tanning devices to the highest level of cancer risk. The link between UV exposure from indoor tanning devices and melanoma is consistent with what is already known about the association between solar UV exposure and skin cancer.”
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, individuals who use indoor tanning devices before the age of 30 increase their risk for melanoma by 75 percent. As many as one in three 17-year-old girls use indoor tanning, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.