Public Health committee ‘thinks’ about tanning bill

By Andi TenBarge
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS – The chairman of the House Public Health Committee said Wednesday that members need to take “time to think” about a bill that would ban commercial tanning for Hoosiers 16 years and younger before deciding whether to approve it.

Indiana’s current law allows minors to tan at commercial facilities with parental permission. But Senate Bill 50 – already passed by the Senate – would ban tanning for minors under age 16, with or without consent.

Proponents of the bill say the legislation will help reduce the risk of skin cancer for minors.

“According to studies on this, UV radiation admitted from these tanning devices are as much as 10 to 15 times more powerful than the midday sun,” said the bill’s author, Sen. Pat Miller, R-Indianapolis. “Medical research has indicated that indoor tanning is a cause of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of the disease.”

Lisa Brooking, owner of True Colors Tanning Salons in Southern Indiana, supports the bill but says a ban on tanning for minors under 16 would not solve the problem.

Brooking said the better option is educating customers about the consequences of tanning and proper sun care practices.

After hearing testimony, committee Chairman Ed Clere, R-New Albany, said the committee needs time to think about the testimony and will review the legislation Monday.

Andi TenBarge is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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