Nutley Resident Patricia Krentcil thrust New Jersey State Tanning Laws into the spotlight in 2012 when she was accused of taking her 5-year-old daughter into a tanning booth. At the time, New Jersey State law banned children younger than 14 years old from using tanning salons. While Krentcil was found not guilty of a crime, this incident generated much conversation on the overall safety of indoor tanning beds.
A year later in 2013, Governor Chris Christie expanded the scope of state tanning laws when he signed a bill prohibiting teens under 17 from using tanning beds, unless a parent or guardian accompanies the child at the first visit to give consent. The parent must sign a form acknowledging the child is at least 14 years of age and the dangers of tanning are known.
Fast forward to today, and the FDA is moving towards a uniform law that would prohibit minors from any state from using tanning beds. Not only would these new rules restrict use of indoor tanning beds to individuals age 18 and up, this would also require any patrons of tanning salons to obtain a signed risk acknowledgment form before their first session and again every six months stating they are aware of the health risks associated with the machines.
For the past 40 years, melanoma rates in people 18 to 39 have grown 800 percent among women and 400 percent among men. People who use UV tanning beds are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors, 2 1/2 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1 1/2 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma. The World Health Organization even classified tanning beds as carcinogenic to humans in 2009.
Additionally, there are bacteria’s and viruses that can be in the tanning beds, including herpes, warts and impetigo. The warm, dark atmosphere offers an ideal area for bugs to grow, and if beds are not properly cleaned these bacteria can pose a threat to patrons.
Your golden glow isn’t worth the known health risks many indoor tanning beds pose. Instead, consider safely soaking up real sun rays!