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New law sets age minimum for indoor tanning

Teenagers under the age of 18 will now have to rely on the sun to maintain their tan. Legislation signed last Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo now bans them from using indoor tanning facilities.

As of August 2012, state law required 17-year-olds to have a parent or legal guardian sign a consent form in order to use indoor tanning facilities, according to the state Department of Health. Those 18 and over had to provide a driver’s license or other photo identification, issued by a government or educational institution, before using UV radiation devices, while those under 17 were not allowed to use them.

“We have long known the dangers of indoor tanning and the devastating health risks that go along with prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. “By further limiting our children from exposing themselves to this health risk, we can stop the spread of preventable disease and help save lives.” 

The law was amended due to concerns over the increased risk of developing skin cancer.

State Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore) was a co-sponsor of the bill, which was introduced in April 2017.

“It is indisputable that tanning devices and UV exposure place users at the highest risk for skin cancer, made worse for those who begin tanning indoors at a young age,” he said in a statement. “With so much misleading and ill-informed information regarding indoor tanning, we cannot expect 17-year-olds to make the right decisions when it comes to the risk and dangers involved in this practice.”

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Photo credit: Greg Scott/FLICKR