In some ways, it’s an interesting idea. In others, it feels a bit like Big Brother. The Utah Senate just passed a bill (18-9) dictating that minors who want to sit under the lights at tanning salons need to have parental permission in order to do so. The parental permission would be required for each and every visit to the salon.
Tanning Salon Dangers
Senator Pat Jones, D-Holladay makes a good point about the dangers of tanning salons. As she said,
“If you think it’s inconvenient for parents to be warned about the dangers of tanning, how inconvenient is it to take your children to chemotherapy treatments?”
Certainly, parental consent is required if a minor is going to get an abortion in Utah. And minors are kept from buying cigarettes and alcohol, both substances that can be harmful to their health. It follows, then, that they should be barred from tanning salons where they are exposed to UVA and UVB rays that exceed “safe” limits. Teenagers, in addition, are at special risk in tanning salons because their bodies are experiencing accelerated growth rates. This causes their cells to be even more receptive to the damage that UV radiation can cause.
Countering the Bill
Countering the bill, however, was Senator Howard Stephenson, R-Draper. He argued that rather than having to offer their consent with every visit to the salon, parents should be able to give their consent annually. His efforts failed.
The bill will now be traveling onto the House. It looks like kids will soon have to endure having un-tanned bodies or have their parent’s consent every time that they head under those UV lights.