Senator Fuschillo And Assemblyman Weisenberg Propose New Restrictions For Tanning Salons

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

March 11, 2005

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (20th Assembly District) announced today that they introduced legislation which would impose new safety restrictions on tanning salons.

Under the provisions of this legislation, children between the ages of fourteen and eighteen would be required to have their parents sign a statement acknowledging that they have read the required safety notices already issued by the Department of Health before using the tanning equipment. Children under fourteen years old would be prohibited from using tanning salons.

"Teenagers don’t always take into account the potential long-term health effects that tanning may cause, therefore parents need to be able to exercise their judgment in order to protect their children," said Senator Fuschillo, a member of the State Senate’s Health Committee.

"With the alarming rise in the number of skin cancer cases, this legislation is of paramount importance to ensure that people are aware of the potential dangers associated with ultraviolet tanning," stated Assemblyman Weisenberg. "As I have in the past, I will continue to advocate for laws that will afford individuals greater protections from skin cancer."

The new legislation would also require adult tanning salon patrons to sign a similar statement indicating that they have read the Department of Health’s safety information and agree to wear safety goggles before using a tanning device.

"According to the FDA, more than one million people visit tanning salons every day, but many are unaware of the dangers posed by these ultraviolet rays, such as eye injury, premature skin wrinkling, skin rashes, and an increased chance of developing skin cancer," Senator Fuschillo added. "By requiring individuals to sign a statement indicating that they received and read this safety information, we can ensure that they are fully aware of the associated risks and can make an educated decision based on all the facts."

"There are no safe UV rays. Lights used in tanning beds and sun lamps give off UV rays. Research has proven that the younger a person is who uses a tanning facility, the more likely he or she is to develop skin cancer. The lights in the tanning bed actually act as a radiation multiplier. The American Cancer Society commends Senator Fuschillo and Assemblyman Weisenberg for taking action to protect the youth of New York State from skin cancer – the most frequently diagnosed form of cancer," said Will Stoner, Regional Advocacy Director for the American Cancer Society.

Although several other states, including California, Texas, Wisconsin, and Illinois, have enacted age restriction laws, there is no such law in New York State. Under the current state law, tanning facility operators are required to be licensed by the Department of Health and display signs, approved by the Department, warning of the potential health effects caused by ultraviolet tanning. In addition, salon operators must also provide approved information notifying patrons of the conditions under which ultraviolet tanning is inadvisable.