The New York State Senate today announced an important bill protecting more children from harmful UV exposure in tanning facilities was given final passage and will be sent to the Governor for review. The bill (S5585A), sponsored by Senator Phil Boyle (R-C-I, Suffolk County), prohibits children under the age of 18 from using tanning facilities.
“There are many obstacles and challenges that befall our young people today,” said Senator Boyle. “Common sense says we should avoid those situations that can knowingly cause harm. The American Cancer Society has noted that the highest risk for skin cancer lies in avoiding the use of indoor tanning facilities. The younger a person starts and the more repeated the exposure to UV rays, the greater the risk for developing skin cancer later in life. I applaud my legislative colleagues for seeing the benefits of this bill and thank them for passing it so swiftly. I urge Governor Cuomo to also see the health benefits of this bill and to do the same.”
Existing law prohibits children under the age of 17 from using tanning facilities and this legislation goes a step further and also prohibits 17-year-olds. The bill retains the exemption for qualified health care providers using tanning in the course of medical treatment.
According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in the United States. About 95,400 invasive skin cancers will be diagnosed in the U.S., and more than 87,000 of these will be of melanoma. The harmful effects of indoor tanning and UV exposure accumulate over time, and recent studies show that individuals who use tanning booths before the age of 35 increase the risk of developing melanoma by 59 percent.
The bill has passed the Assembly and will be sent to the Governor for review.