Proposed PA law would prevent minors from tanning

By Greta Lindsley

photo credit: Travel Salem via photopin cc

Prom is fast approaching, which means a lot of preparation for high school seniors and underclassmen asked to accompany a senior on this special night. For many teenage girls, there is a lot to do including buying the perfect dress, painting nails, and figuring out what to do with their hair.

Another important step in reaching the perfect “prom look” is tanning at a tanning salon.

When asked about why they like to tan at a salon, junior Eden White stated, “it’s way easier than sitting outside for hours when you barely get any color.”

Junior Tori Valentin stated, “I like being tan all year long and I find tanning really relaxing.”

Both girls attended prom in 2012 and loved the idea to tan to stand out in their dresses.

According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 13 percent of high-school students use tanning salons, 21 percent of high-school girls use tanning salons, and 32 percent of 12th-grade girls use tanning salons.

A lot of concern comes from State Representative RoseMarie Swanger (R-Lebanon) on this issue. A week after New Jersey passed a law prohibiting kids under 17 from using tanning beds, Swanger had launched an effort to pass a similar law in Pennsylvania.

“Tanning beds are essentially cigarettes for the skin,” said Swanger in a press release. “This exposure to ultraviolet radiation is known to be particularly dangerous for teenagers, who are at greater risk of developing skin cancer from indoor and outdoor tanning.”

The danger of the ultraviolet radiation is what is scaring the public, but for those tanning specifically for prom, it’s a risk they are willing to take.

White stated, “I would be kind of upset if tanning would be banned for people under 18. I think that parents should be allowed to sign for their kid if they personally think it’s okay.”

Valentin stated, “I would be upset because I enjoy tanning, but at the same time, I know it’s bad for me.”