Texas Enacts Most Restrictive Indoor Tanning Law
Today Texas Governor Rick Perry signed a bill into law that will prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices for all Texans under the age of 16.5 and will require in-person parental consent for those between the ages of 16.5 and 18.
“The American Academy of Dermatology Association applauds the state of Texas for being the first in the nation to prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices for all children and adolescents under the age of 16.5 – the most restrictive law in the country,” said dermatologist Evan Farmer, MD, FAAD, vice president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “We commend Governor Perry, Representative Solomons and the other members of the Texas legislature for their efforts to help reduce the incidence of skin cancer by protecting youth from the dangers of indoor tanning.”
The United States Department of Health and Human Services has stated that ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, is a known carcinogen. Yet, nearly 30 million people tan indoors in the United States annually. Of these, 2.3 million are teens.
Indoor tanning before the age of 35 has been associated with a significant increase in the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year. Limiting exposure to UV radiation from the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds and sun lamps, is the best way to reduce the risk of skin cancer.
“Helping children develop healthy habits and avoid excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation will decrease their risk of skin cancer and other potential hazards such as eye damage, aging skin and immune suppression,” said Dr. Farmer. “Texas’ leadership on this issue will serve as a model for other states to improve their laws and regulations on this critical public health issue.”