Bill would ban minors from using tanning beds

Written by  Megan Lello and Radio Pennsylvania
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(Harrisburg) -- Some midstate teens may use indoor tanning facilities to get ready for the prom and graduation seasons.

But a new proposal from state Representative RoseMarie Swanger could soon bar Pennsylvanians under the age of 18 from using tanning beds, even if they have permission from a legal guardian.

The Republican from Lebanon County says other behaviors deemed harmful to minors are banned, so indoor tanning should be, too. "We protect children by prohibiting their use of tobacco, which is also irrefutably linked to cancer. We also ban them from consuming alcohol. Likewise, for minors, we mandate seatbelt use, require bicycle and motorcycle safety helmets, and do many other things to help protect their safety."

The measure would also require Pennsylvanians to show ID before gaining access to an indoor tanning facility.

Tanning beds give off ultraviolet radiation, which has been linked to skin cancer, or melanoma.

A study from the International Journal of Cancer has found using tanning beds before the age of 35 can increase the risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent.

Swanger's bill has been referred to the House Health Committee.

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