Bill to Ban Indoor Tanning for Minors

By: Fay Li Email
By: Fay Li Email

22-year-old Anne Goulet spent many hours during her high school years on a tanning bed. She says it became an addiction and a secret she kept from her family.

"Every day after school, I would immediately be at the tanning salon ready for my 20-minute session in the strongest bed they had," Goulet said.

When she was 19 years old, Goulet was diagnosed with melanoma and went through surgery to remove the cancerous cells. Rep. Jim Townsend, D-Royal Oak, used her story to explain why he introduced a bill to ban minors from indoor tanning.

"There's not enough public education and a ban for minors would certainly send the same kind of signals that banning cigarettes for minors has also sent, which is this is dangerous," said Rep. Townsend.

"Indoor tanning beds emit up to 15 times more ultraviolet radiation than natural sunlight," said dermatologist Dr. Kay Watnick.

However, the owner of J2 Tanning, Jason Hadley, thinks the connection between indoor tanning and skin cancer is exaggerated. Afterall, he says he's been tanning for years and has never had problems. He also allows his daughters, age 15 and 12, to use tanning beds.

"I have a real big problem with them taking my parental rights away and secondly, being the business owner of a tanning salon I certainly don't want to see anything like that passed," Hadley said.

He says it's about tanning in moderation. 20% of his business comes from teens wanting that summer glow.

Under current law, minors who want to do indoor tanning must get parent's consent. Rep. Townsend also introduced a second bill that would create a registry for tanning facilities and require business owners to pay a $75 annual registration fee.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Maria Jones Location: http://www.antivitiligo.com/ on Mar 27, 2013 at 12:02 AM
    A research study conducted in New York has shown that indoor tanning may be addictive for some young adults, and people who are hooked on tanning beds may also be prone to anxiety and substance abuse problem.
  • by Name Location: Location on Mar 22, 2013 at 07:10 AM
    Jason Hadley's statement that he has a real big problem with the government taking away his parental rights. WAKE UP EVERYONE the goevernment has slowly been taking away ALL of our rights!You need to pay attention
  • by Tammy Location: Lansing on Mar 22, 2013 at 06:09 AM
    Really? Is this so important? Yes if your are going to Aruba for vacation better get a base tan. Because sun poisoning is dangerous. Skin Cancer can and does come from the sun not just bulbs. Parents can pay $45 a month if they want to just spoil their kid but honestly most people under the age of 18 do not tan year round anyways, They are trying to avoid being burnt from the SUN! Called a base tan.
  • by mdparker Location: Lansing on Mar 22, 2013 at 05:54 AM
    This sounds like an obvious decision at first glance, but just like anything else, you have to try to think about unintended consequences. Ban or not, teens will continue to seek tans and they will seek out unmonitored home tanning units and unsafe habits in the natural sun. Research shows that the risk of using home tanning beds is far greater than using them in salons - presumably because of exposure time and because salon workers are trained to not allow clients to overexpose. As much as doctors would like you to believe it, research has not shown a statistically significant correlation between tanning in salons and melanoma - only with home use and medical phototherapy. Melanoma is clearly a very sad thing, but when talking about legislation, emotion and anecdotal evidence must be put to the side. Unfortunately, a very small percentage of young people have always gotten melanoma, and continue to. But melanoma in young people is not on the rise according to National Cancer Institute data.
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