Every year in the U.S. nearly 30 million people tan indoors. Of these, 2.3 million are teens. Melanoma rates among young women have soared 50% since the 1980's, a trend that has paralleled a rise in the use of tanning salons.
The World Health Organization (WHO) as all well as the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD) have all called for a ban on ALL indoor tanning by minors. Presently, California and Vermont are the only states that ban the use of commercial tanning beds for all minors under 18 years of age. Howard County, Maryland and Chicago, and Springfield, Illinois are the only local jurisdictions that ban minors under 18 from commercial tanning beds. There are another 31 states in the U.S. that have restrictions on a minor's use of indoor tanning parlors but typically all that is required is a signed permission slip for those under the age of 18.
AIM at Melanoma, realizing the importance of this issue, has spearheaded this effect by getting legislation introduced throughout the country. Many of these states have since passed laws enacting stricter controls over a minor's access to indoor tanning beds, such as in NY, MD, UT, ME, DE, CT and WY. AIM at Melanoma lead the effort in California, making it the first state to prohibit minors under the age of 18 from commercial tanning beds.
This is an ongoing effort. In partnership with the National Council of State Legislatures, we have created the chart below so that you can see what legislation presently exists and follow new legislation as it gets introduced.
At the same time, AIM at Melanoma has also gotten legislation passed that mandated K-12 sun safety education and provided worker's compensation for lifeguards. AIM is also working to pass legislation which would ensure that cancer patients have equal and appropriate access to all cancer treatments.
As a citizen and a constituent, you are in a powerful position to influence policymakers. The AIM at Melanoma Foundation needs your help! Help us educate and influence legislators on the dangers of indoor tanning. AIM at Melanoma's Public Policy Committee is calling for volunteers to act as legislative advocates at the local grassroots level. The primary duty of these volunteers is to write or visit the local offices of our state and municipal representatives in order to urge them to support a ban on indoor tanning under the age of 18.
We welcome your support, and ask you to contact us if you would like to help in the effort to ban indoor tanning by minors.
For further information contact sguild@AIMatMelanoma.org