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Monday
Oct102011

California Bans Tanning Beds for Minors

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- A new California law that prohibits anyone younger than 18 from using tanning beds drew praise from health organizations when it was signed this weekend.

The law, signed on Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown, takes effect Jan. 1.  Currently, California law permits teenagers who are between 14 and 17 to use the beds provided they have parental consent.

The American Academy of Dermatology expressed support for the law in a statement, noting that previous research has shown that people who have used indoor tanning are at 75 percent higher risk for melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.  Indoor tanning also raises the risk of other types of skin cancer.

“The American Academy of Dermatology Association applauds the state of California for being the first in the nation to prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices for all children and adolescents under the age of 18 -- the most restrictive law in the country,” Dr. Ronald L. Moy, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association, said in the statement.  “We commend Gov. Brown, Sen. Ted Lieu and the other members of the California legislature for their efforts to help reduce the future incidence of skin cancer by protecting youth from the dangers of indoor tanning.”

Other professional organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association and the World Health Organization, have expressed support for similar laws.  In 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, placed tanning beds in its Class 1 carcinogen category.  Cigarettes, plutonium and ultraviolet radiation from the sun are in the same category.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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