Minnesota legislators consider ban on underage tanning - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Minnesota legislators consider ban on underage tanning

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Minnesota legislators are working to pass legislation that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from tanning in a tanning bed.  If passed, the proposed bill would make Minnesota's tanning bed regulations among the strictest in the nation.

"I think that having a law that forbids tanning bed use in the pediatric population in the state of Minnesota simply increases public awareness of the problem and also validates the medical community's concern that tanning beds are dangerous," said Dawn Davis, a Pediatric Dermatologist at Mayo Clinic.

Minnesota already requires parental consent for anyone under the age of 16 to use a tanning bed.  Shining the light on the dangers of tanning by ultraviolet lights is Mayo Clinic Dermatologist Jerry Brewer.  He recently conducted a revealing study on the population of Olmsted County.

Brewer's research shows that the number of women with melanoma between the ages of 18 and 40 are eight times higher than in the 1970's.

"The astounding thing is when we looked at women between the ages of 40 and 60 we thought we'd see a similar trend, but these women are getting melanoma 24 times more often than they did four decades ago," said Brewer.

Even with new legislation, medical professionals say 'fake-baking' still poses a threat to public health.

"There's no such thing as a safe tan," said Davis.  "The best tan is the kind that comes from a bottle such as sunless tanner."

If the bill passes, Minnesota would become the sixth state to ban indoor tanning for minors.

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