That's because a new law in Pennsylvania regulates the use of indoor tanning beds by minors -- they can't use them at all.
The law prohibits children aged 16 and under from using indoor tanning beds, and, in a so-called prom-exemption, require that 17-year-olds have a parent's permission.
“We don’t permit minors to smoke or drink in Pennsylvania, and with research indicating ultraviolet exposure can be equally dangerous, it’s time we join the company of the 40 other states that presently regulate indoor tanning, protecting children from its carcinogenic effects,” said sponsor Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) said.
According to the Pennsylvania Academy of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, melanoma is the most common form of cancer in young adults ages 25 to 29, and the second most common type of cancer in those 15 to 29.
Tanning beds are most frequently used by girls and women ages 14 to 29, Farry's office said.
“Cancer is a diagnosis that no one wants to hear, but more and more young adults are putting themselves at great risk for developing the deadliest type of skin cancer, and all for superficial benefits,” Farry said. “We are concerned many teens and their parents do not fully understand the deadly consequences that can come with indoor tanning.”
The World Health Organization classifies radiation emitted from tanning beds as a class I carcinogen, the highest level of carcinogen in the same category as tobacco and asbestos, Farry's office said.
The legislation also requires that all tanning facilities register with the state; pay an annual fee; undergo regular inspections; and post a notice to customers stating that tanning is carcinogenic.The legislation was signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett on May 6.
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