By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, February 11, 2014 the Alabama House of Representatives passed HB 254 regulating tanning salons in the state of Alabama.
The bill was sponsored by Representative Ronald Johnson (R) and requires that minors must get written consent for tanning and that protective eyewear must be worn while in a tanning bed.
Under the terms of the bill, no person 16 or 17 years of age shall use a tanning device unless a parent or legal guardian provides written consent signed at the tanning facility. No person 15 years of age shall use a tanning device unless a parent or legal guardian provides written consent signed at the tanning facility and the parent or legal guardian who signed the written consent is present in the facility during the operation of the device. No person 14 years of age or under shall use a tanning device unless prescribed by a physician. Additionally, the bill states that no person shall use a tanning device without the use of protective eyewear.
The bill also requires that the written consent required to be signed by a parent or legal guardian must include the following warning: “Danger. Ultraviolet radiation. Follow instructions. Avoid overexposure. As with natural sunlight, overexposure can cause eye and skin injury and allergic reactions. Repeated exposure may cause premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. WEAR PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR; FAILURE TO DO SO MAY RESULT IN SEVERE BURNS OR LONG-TERM INJURY TO THE EYES. Medications or cosmetics may increase your sensitivity to the ultraviolet radiation. Consult a physician before using the sunlamp if you are using medications or have a history of skin problems or believe yourself especially sensitive to sunlight. If you do not tan in the sun, you are unlikely to tan from use of this product.”
The bill defines tanning facility as: “Any location, place, area, structure, or business, including tanning salons, health clubs, apartments, and condominiums that provides persons access to a tanning device regardless of whether a fee is charged for the access.”
Generations of Americans have laid out in the sun for what they thought were appearance benefits. Then later tanning beds were invented to provide the same “benefit.”
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “UV radiation in tanning devices poses serious health risks. A recent report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, concludes that tanning devices are more dangerous than previously thought. Exposure to UV radiation, whether from the sun or indoor tanning beds, can cause:
•Premature skin aging
•Eye damage (both short- and long-term).” Health experts are now recommending that persons, especially young people, limit their exposure to ultra-violet radiation.
The bill passed the Alabama House by a vote of 92 to 2.