Proposed legislation to ban underage tanning in Missouri - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Proposed legislation to ban underage tanning in Missouri

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It's almost prom season which is a time of year many teens go to tanning salons; but, Missouri lawmakers have introduced a bill to ban anyone under the age of 18 from using tanning beds.

In Missouri anyone under 18 already has to have parental consent to use tanning beds.

Christina Howes, manager at Color Me Tan in Hannibal, said the new law, if passed, would take away about ten percent of her clientele that are teens.

Howes doesn't believe the law should be passed, because she said tanning beds are okay if used in moderation.

"I think as long as you're doing it in a responsible manner and you're not coming in and allowing yourself to go the max time and continuing to burn throughout your sessions," explained Howes. "I think that's what's most important is easing yourself into it."

Howes said the industry has changed in the last 10 years or so. She said the customer doesn't control how long the beds stay on anymore which cuts down on overexposure to the ultra violet lights.

Local dermatologists said there's no such thing as a safe tan whether it's from indoor tanning beds like these or from the sun.

Dr. Linda Cooke with Riverside Dermatology said the law should be passed because research shows tanning can become addictive.

"The use of tanning beds under the age of 30 increases your risk for Melanoma by 75 percent," stated Cooke. "So young women thinking they're gonna be safe, 'Oh it's prom season, I'm just gonna use it a few times.' It is not safe."

Cooke said it also increases the chance for Basil Cell and Squamous cells but Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer.

In Illinois, indoor tanning is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 which has been the case since 2014 when it became state law.

Iowa is a different story, where there is no law putting restrictions on minors from tanning. It remains one of only 7 states in the country with no age regulations in place.    

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