HAMILTON, Ohio – A proposed ban on teenagers using commercial tanning beds has angered business owners and some parents.
More than 250 residents have signed a petition against the proposal, which was introduced last week by a city councilman at the urging of a group of physicians.
The physicians, including dermatologists and radiologists, argue that excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation causes skin cancer, especially when people are exposed at an early age. They say the use of tanning beds by minors should be regulated just as the government regulates tobacco and alcohol use.
City Council could vote on the proposed ordinance Oct. 25. The California Legislature, citing a rise in skin cancer cases across the nation, passed a law in 2004 that bans children under age 14 from using tanning booths without a doctor's prescription.
Tanning salon owners in Hamilton, about 25 miles north of Cincinnati, said there's no need to change existing state and city law, which allows minors to use a tanning facility with written consent from a parent.
"All this is going to do is drive kids to other communities or into homes where they are not supervised," said Beth Young, owner of Beach Bound. "They are supervised here."
Debbie Combs, the mother of a 17-year-old high school student, said she intends to sign the petition against the proposed law.
"I'm not for someone using [tanning beds] on an ongoing daily basis, but I can understand when they're going to a special event and they would like to have a little color," Combs said.
Mayor Don Ryan said he expects a lot of heated discussions.
"This is going to be a really tough one for the Council and the city to determine what is the right course of action," Ryan said.