Pennsylvania teenagers will soon need their driver's licenses or other ID to use a tanning bed. Gov. Corbett signed a bill Tuesday that prohibits anyone 16 and younger from using an indoor tanning salon. It takes effect 60 days from signing.
A "prom carve-out" amendment will give 17-year-olds access to a bed with parental permission. And adults must sign a consent form describing the risks. New Jersey passed a similar law in 2013.
Indoor tanning used to be considered safer than lying out in the sun, but that's not true, said Andrew Figura, a radiation oncologist with the Regional Cancer Center in Erie who trained in Philadelphia. Tanning clients are at higher risk of getting all types of skin cancer.
In a tanning bed, "your entire body is exposed to UVB radiation, which is more penetrating than the UVA rays you get outside," Figura said.
"Just one or two deep tans, especially early in life, can increase your risk of melanoma by as much as 70 percent," he said.
Figura doesn't think raising the minimum age to use a tanning bed will stop all teenagers from tanning, but says it's a good start.
"I hope it makes people think more about it before they tan," he said. - McClatchy Tribune News Service