Senator Fuschillo’s Law to Protect Teens From Skin Cancer Takes Effect Tomorrow

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

August 14, 2012

Teens Ages 16 and Under Will be Prohibited from Using Indoor UV Tanning Devices

     Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) announced that a new law he authored to help protect teens from the dangers of skin cancer takes effect tomorrow, August 15th. The new law, which was signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo last month, 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 devices greatly increase the risk of developing melanoma and other serious health problems later in life. Indoor tanning exposes skin to UV rays which are far more intense than what the sun produces. Starting tomorrow, children will be better protected from something that can lead to dangerous and potentially deadly health problems later in life,” 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.

     “According to the World Health Organization (WHO), those with a history of indoor tanning before the age of 30 have a 75 percent increased chance for developing melanoma. Starting tomorrow, kids age 16 and younger will not be allowed to use an indoor tanning facility. This new law will protect a significant portion of the teen population. Thank you to Governor Cuomo, Senator Charles Fuschillo and Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg for their support on this issue," said Blair Horner, Vice President for Advocacy, American Cancer Society of New York and New Jersey.

     “Senator Fuschillo, Assemblyman Weisenberg and our legislators are to be commended regarding this law. New York State has joined California and Vermont regarding protection of our teens who are unaware as well as their parents, that tanning bed use increases the risk of deadly melanoma by 75%, in addition to an increased risk of other disfiguring skin cancers. This law will save lives and health care dollars and hopefully is another step to protect and educate New York State constituents still unaware melanoma is the fastest growing cancer in America, the most common cancer for 25 to 29 year olds and the second most common cancer for 15 to 29 year olds. CCMAC thanks our State Government on behalf of the community,” said Colette Coyne, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign.