Bill would restrict teens’ tanning salon use

Feb 21 2012 - 9:15pm

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A bill that would make it more difficult for a minor to patronize a tanning salon has cleared a key hurdle in the Senate.

The Senate voted 18-8 to move Senate Bill 41 to the third reading calendar. The bill requires parental consent each time a minor accesses a tanning salon.

Sponsored by Sen. Patricia Jones, D-Salt Lake City, the bill would place the potential risks of melanoma on parents.

Jones said studies show the risk of skin cancer is especially high for white women under the age of 30 who expose themselves to UV radiation, which the tanning beds use.

Utah has the highest rate of melanoma in youths in the nation, Jones said.

Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, is a melanoma survivor, and he said Utah's high rate is also due to a lot of exposure to the sun during the summer.

He suggested the issue is a far greater problem than the public realizes. He predicted that, in coming years, tanning salon use will be seen as more dangerous than smoking.

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