Indiana News

University Students Join Call to Ban Minors From Tanning Salons

9/16/2013

Some Indiana college students are urging legislators to ban minors from tanning salons.

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A small group of Valparaiso University students traveled to the statehouse to urge a health study committee to endorse making Indiana the seventh state to restrict tanning beds to people 18 and up. Dermatologists urged the panel last month to toughen the law, which currently allows teenagers to use tanning salons with parental consent.

Testimony before a legislative committee is a course requirement for Valpo's social-work majors, but Zionsville's Bethany Garling says the tanning issue hits close to home. She says a 22-year-old classmate has had to withdraw from school to undergo treatment for skin cancer, and says limiting young people's access to tanning beds would dramatically reduce their cancer risk.

The tanning industry says salons explain the risks to customers and enforce limits on how long they can spend in the tanning bed. The industry argues an outright ban on top of that is unnecessary.

Garling says many teens get around the time limits by making multiple salon trips in one day.

The study committee plans to decide its recommendations next month. The report is nonbinding -- it'll be up to the full General Assembly to decide what to do when it convenes in January.

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