Council member wants to protect teens from tanning salons

Councilman Bill Greenlees bill would place restrictions on teen use of devices such as this to get quick tans. Philadelphia has 83 tanning salons, roughly twice the number of other large U.S. cities, according to CITY 100, aresearch project on tanning salons. (Shutterstock)
Councilman Bill Greenlees bill would place restrictions on teen use of devices such as this to get quick tans. Philadelphia has 83 tanning salons, roughly twice the number of other large U.S. cities, according to CITY 100, aresearch project on tanning salons. (Shutterstock)
Posted: February 01, 2013

LAST WEEK, City Council dealt with zoning issues and discussed looming school closures, but on Thursday the legislative body takes on a new controversial issue: tanning beds.

The indoor-tanning industry has come under fire recently after the American Suntanning Association tried to dispute that tanning raises the risk of skin cancer.

To make indoor tanning aficionados aware of the risks, Councilman Bill Greenlee will introduce a bill that would require a minor to be accompanied by an adult when tanning at a salon. Minors under 14 would be prohibited from indoor tanning unless they have a doctor's note. Operators must provide customers with information detailing health risks. The city's Health Department would be tasked with ensuring that operators are compliant.

"The chance of cancer tremendously increases with the exposure to tanning salons," said Greenlee, adding that teenage girls in particular frequent these salons. "This is . . . the equivalent of intense sun in a relatively short period of time."

"There are health effects when you go in and burn, not tan," said Dan Bouikidis, owner of three tanning salons, including MegaSun, in Center City. "Are [Council members] going to do anything when people go to the pool?"

California, Vermont, New York and Chicago have banned minors from indoor tanning, and at least 30 states have passed laws limiting teens from tanning indoors.


On Twitter: @Jan_Ransom

Blog: PhillyClout.com

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