Categorized | Melanoma News, Latest News

First Ever US Legislation Banning Minors from Using Tanning Beds

Richmond, Calif. – (October 10, 2011) – Senate Bill 746 was passed on 10 October, 2011, which now bans children under 18 from using indoor tanning beds. Tanning beds have been linked to the rapid rise in melanoma rates among 15-39-year olds.

Co-sponsored by AIM at Melanoma in California and the California Society of Dermatology & Dermatological Surgery, SB 746 replaces the current law, which requires teens aged 14-17 years old to obtain parental permission to use a tanning bed.

Nearly 28 million individuals use tanning beds in the U.S. annually, of which 2.3 million are teens. Those who use tanning beds before the age of 20 double their risk of developing melanoma. Melanoma is the No. 1 cancer killer of young women between the ages of 25-30, and second only to breast cancer in women 30-34. Over 8,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in California in 2011.

Valerie Guild, president and founder of AIM at Melanoma, whose daughter died of melanoma at the age of 26, applauded the passage of SB 746 into law.

“This is a major victory in the fight against melanoma. It is alarming that so many young women are unnecessarily developing melanoma because of a recreational activity,” said Guild. “We hope other states will follow California’s lead.”

“Scientific research has shown conclusively that tanning beds cause skin cancer,” said Senator Ted Lieu, who authored the bill in the Senate. “The younger kids are when they start using tanning beds, the greater the cumulative damage to their skin and the more likely they are to die of skin cancer.”

By Governor Brown allowing SB 746 to become law, the Golden State is the first in the nation with such a ban. SB746 will take effect January 1, 2012.