Fuschillo Legislation to Protect Teens From Skin Cancer Signed by Governor Cuomo

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

July 16, 2012

New Law Prohibits Teens Ages 16 and Under from Using Indoor UV Tanning Devices

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today announced that legislation he sponsors to help protect teens from the dangers of skin cancer has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo. The new law strengthens the state’s existing indoor tanning law by prohibiting minors ages 16 and under from using indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices.

     “Research has shown that indoor UV tanning can be potentially dangerous; it greatly increases the risk of developing skin cancer and exposes skin to UV radiation that is far more intense than what the sun produces. This new law will help protect children from something that can cause them serious health problems later in life. I applaud Governor Cuomo for signing it,” said Senator Fuschillo, who also authored the State’s original teen indoor tanning law.

     Medical experts have repeatedly warned about the potential dangers associated with indoor tanning. Indoor tanning before age 30 increases a person’s chances of getting cancer by 75 percent, according to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). UV emitting indoor tanning devices are classified by the IARC in the highest level of cancer risk (Group 1), “carcinogenic to humans,” placing them in the same category as asbestos, benzene, and cigarette smoke. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics noted that the intensity of ultraviolet-A radiation produced by large, powerful tanning units are 10-15 times higher than that of the midday sun.

     Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, more than 4,700 New Yorkers will be diagnosed with melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, this year. Melanoma is the most common form of cancer for young adults 25-29 years old and the second most common form of cancer for young people 15-29 years old.

     The new law is widely supported by a number of health and advocacy organizations, including the American Cancer Society; American Academy of Pediatrics; American Academy of Dermatology Association; Medical Society of the State of New York; National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention; New York State Academy of Family Physicians; and the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign.

     “The new law prohibiting children under 17 from using indoor tanning will protect a significant portion of the teen population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 10 percent of 14 year olds, 12 percent of 15 year olds and 15 percent of 16 year olds have used indoor tanning facilities," said Blair Horner, Vice President for Advocacy, American Cancer Society of NY & NJ. "Thank you to Governor Cuomo for signing the bill and to the chief legislative sponsors, Senator Charles Fuschillo and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg for their dedication and hard work on this issue."

     “This new law is another positive step in the right direction to protect children from skin cancer and other potential dangers associated with indoor tanning. Research has proven that tanning bed use increases the risk of deadly melanoma by 75% and can lead to other serious health issues later in life. Many teens and adults are unaware of that, and with melanoma rates continuing to grow we need to act to save lives and protect children. We thank Senator Fuschillo for his ongoing efforts in the fight against skin cancer and applaud Governor Cuomo for signing this legislation into law, which will save health care dollars and more importantly save lives,” said Colette Coyne, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign.

     The law takes effect on August 15th.