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Illinois Lawmakers Want To ban Tanning Bed Use for Teens

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Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  (IRN) – Some Illinois lawmakers want to ban Illinoisans under age 18 from using tanning beds. Marty Gallagher of the Indoor Tanning Association says a bill to require that could hurt businesses and consumers alike.

“You are going to send kids to beaches with uncontrolled doses. You are going to send kids to garages and whatever else without the protection of the regulations that are currently in place. So this legislation may sound good but in the end it does hurt the industry,”

Gallagher testified before an Illinois House committee. State Rep. Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) says she introduced the bill because the UV rays from tanning beds are as hazardous to the body as smoking. She says she doesn’t want to hurt tanning businesses, but there should be alternatives. Dermatologist Stephen Stone says opponents may say sunlight has the same effect, but the comparison is misleading.

“The purpose of being in a tanning bed is to cook yourself, to cook your skin and make it turn brown. The purpose of being out in the sun is to enjoy sports, enjoy the family, enjoy the activity,” Stone says.

State Rep. Deborah Mell (D-Chicago) says there are alternatives to tanning beds. “People don’t go and spray tan because they like the color,” she said. “They do it because they realize these things are giving people cancer. And they give people wrinkles and they prematurely age them.”

Copyright Illinois Radio Network

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