Del. Bans Minors from Using Tanning Beds - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Bans Minors from Using Tanning Beds

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DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed into law Monday afternoon a bill that bans minors from using tanning beds in the First State.

Prior to this bill, kids 14 to 18 could use the beds with parental permission.The ban got unanimous support in the state House of Representatives, and near unanimous in the Senate.

Dr. Karyl Rattay, head of the state Division of Public Health, say it's about preventing skin cancer.

"For everyone, exposure to indoor tanning and any kind of tanning, is harmful and puts people at risk for melanoma and other types of skin cancer," she said. "But we are especially concerned about individuals under the age of 18."

But Karen Thomas, who owns Tropic Fever Tanning in Laurel, thinks the ban is government meddling where it shouldn't be.

"I definitely think the ban is government control over-reaching," Thomas said. "They're just putting their hands in and telling us what to do."

Other tanning salons agree.

"I think it's over-reacting," Meghan Masten, who works at Electric Beach in Dover, told WBOC while the bill was under consideration. "Honestly, parents send their kids to the beach all day long. They sit out there. They fry. The sun is worse for you than a tanning bed."

Thomas says Tropic Fever has teenage clients. She's hoping the ban won't affect business. She expects she'll just see kids come in for more spray tans.

"I've been spray tanning here for seven years. I spray tan, pageant girls. I spray tan young ladies all the time."

Thomas adds spray tans are more expensive than regular tans, so the change may actually help her business.

Dr. Rattay says Delaware's per capita rate of melanoma is far above the national average. It's especially high in Sussex County.

"This is going to go a long way in helping to prevent melanoma in the state of Delaware," she said.

The law goes into effect January 1.

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