State Lawmakers Hear Testimony On Proposed Youth Tanning Ban

Dermatologists and cancer survivors want tighter restrictions on who can use tanning beds in Indiana.

Indiana lawmakers are weighing a ban on tanning for kids younger than 18. Other states and Canadian provinces have enacted similar bans.

Photo: Province of British Columbia (Flickr)

Indiana lawmakers are weighing a ban on tanning for kids younger than 18. Other states and Canadian provinces have enacted similar bans.

Indiana dermatologists and cancer survivors are among those who are encouraging lawmakers to pass a law that would ban minors from using tanning beds.

The Indiana Health Finance Commission took testimony Thursday on the proposed law.

“I was a teenager who thought I had to tan,” says Katie Donnar, who was 17 when she was diagnosed with melanoma. “I thought I had to look a certain way. Because I did that, it damaged my body.”

But others say while skin cancer is a legitimate concern, the proposed law is an overreaction. Joseph Levy works with the American Suntanning Association.

“A ban on people under 18 would be teaching people under 18 that any UV exposure is harmful, and that’s not what the science says,” says Levy.

Currently, minors in Indiana must have a parent sign a release form before they can use a tanning bed at a salon. If the child is 15 years old or younger, a parent must also be present when the child tans.

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