Natasha's Policy Paper

Tanning Law Changed to the Age 18
Although tobacco purchasers in all 50 states must be 18 years of age, only three states have restrictions on youth tanning use. Evidence shows that young age is the most critical period for UV exposure, elevating skin cancer risk.

I propose that the age for people to start tanning in salons should be raised to the age 18. This provides the age that the teen “becomes an adult” and is becoming more responsible. Teens are putting themselves at risk for serious health by using indoor tanning to look like what society thinks is beautiful. There are many risks including burns, immune system suppression, and melanoma (one of the most serious forms of skin cancer). Tobacco has been strongly regulated for teens to not buy with the risk of cancer, while tanning has been unsuccessful and is not regulated.
I think that if the teens were being regulated more like they were when buying tobacco then we would be able to slim down the rise in melanoma being brought through the teen age population.
Teens need to realize that they cannot ruin their lives at such a young age. There should be penalties for not being of age to tan. If the teen is caught they should be giving a warning type subject that has to be signed by the parent. This charge does not seem necessary for a harsh punishment. Nothing like a fine but if the underage person pushes the line and is caught more than 3 times then something as drastic as a fine seems to be needed.
Also I think that the facility should also be punished. Workers should know the policy that minors should not be tanning and risking their lives. The facility should be written up and taken to the people who check up on the places. These employees names should also be written up and if they are given more than three warnings they should be either suspended from work or if the boss would prefer it, then for them to be fired. At this point the punishment would be up to the main caretaker of that facility.

Working in a salon you are able to see all the teens that are ruining their lives by tanning. Not only does indoor tanning cause the skin to wrinkle faster when you get older, your skin turns to the texture of leather, or skin tone eventually becoming uneven, but you are also taking the risk of getting skin cancer. Teens think they are making themselves look healthier and more attractive by having a simple tan, but in the long run when they get older they will wish they have never done this when they did. Yes, a healthy glow does make wonders to your self confidence, but are you willing to risk all these things to look good now, instead of later in life when you are only 35 years of age and people think you are older.
When I was a junior in high school I was diagnosed with skin cancer. I had worked in a tanning salon for almost 2 years and was tanning at every chance I got. Eventually it got the best of me. I had found a few spots on my body that did not look normal and had them checked out. Soon I was being told that all that time tanning had taking a toll on my skin and I had a minor case of melanoma. I had to go through treatment to get rid of it and I may now be clean and free from it, but I am forced to not tan again. My skin is unable to tan and I will be this color the rest of my life. Eventually my tone will fade and it will become lighter, but I did not listen to what everyone had said when I had started. I figured I would never get that, only people who go every day are at risk. I eventually became one of those people who went every day. I regret starting for the fact that now I am unable to go out in the sun and know I will be safe. There are six types of skin categories, each with their own sensitivity, and I happen to be in that very first category of the most sensitive.

It was said that in 2006 there was too be a law passed that teens under the age of 16 were not able to tan in the indoor tanning salons. There was also supposed to be a parental written consent for those ages 16 and 17. With this law there have been no proven penalties to those who do tan under age. There just is no enforcement when it comes to these simple tasks of keeping teens away from tanning salons. In the United States nearly one million people tan in an indoor tanning facility per day. Indoor tanning equipment sends off strong enough UV and UB radiation that can even be stronger then the suns UV rays.
There have been many studies to do with indoor tanning beds. In fact the world's first UV indoor tanning lamp was made in Germany by a medical company in 1906. This UV indoor tanning lamp was used to help patients with diseases to develop more calcium and build stronger bones. Today's scientific research on the value of sunlight in creating vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium, shows that Germany was on to something big.
There have been four types of tanners identified: special event or people who tan numerous times over a short period associated with a special event, followed by extended periods of no tanning; spontaneous or mood or people who are non-regular tanners with spontaneous patterns strongly influenced by mood; regular year-round, people who tan weekly or biweekly, and mixed, people who have both regular tanning periods and shorter periods associated with special events. Researchers compared demographic, behavioral and psychosocial information for each of these groups.

Work Cited

Lack of laws limiting use of tanning parlors puts teens at risk;

Tanning Salons: Law and Risk;

The Truth About Tanning: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Skin;; 2005

Laws fail to curb tanning-bed access; ; The Associated Press; December 8, 2008
Indoor Tanning Fact Sheet;; 2009

Indoor Tanning History;;

Classifying indoor tanning behaviors can help physicians tailor prevention messages;; December 17, 2007

Indoor Tanning Dangers;; March 28, 2006

Teen Tanning Hazards;; March-April 2005 issue

Dangers of Indoor Tanning Beds;; September 27, 2006

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