Remember Patricia Krentcil, a.k.a. “tan mom”? Of course you do. Well, amidst all of the controversy and backlash over her arrest for taking her 5-year-old tanning with her, there is something good that actually came out of this: a revived push for anti-tanning laws for minors.
New Jersey lawmakers are hoping all of this attention will renew the proposed law to make it illegal for teens to use an indoor tanning salon. Apparently an old bill is being reintroduced that would prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from using a tanning bed at a tanning facility.
The reason? It’s extremely dangerous to your health, according to what Dr. Jeanine Downy told Today:
If you start tanning as a teenager, you’re 74 times more likely to get a malignant melanoma as a younger adult than you would otherwise.
That’s certainly a scary statistic. And it’s odd that this law never went through in the first place, especially considering the fact that melanoma is the most serious type of skin cancer which affects over 76,000 people a year now and causes more than 9,000 deaths.
Of course the Indoor Tanning Association doesn’t agree. In a statement to NBC News, they said the risks of indoor tanning are exaggerated, and even going so far as to say that indoor tanning is good for you:
It is a fact that ultraviolet light from a sunbed is the same as that from the sun and regular moderate non-burning exposure is essential for good health.
So now tanning beds are “essential for good health”? I don’t think so. And they’re especially not healthy for kids and teens who are more susceptible to skin cancer.
Well at least Krentcil reignited this discussion. And, in case you missed it, she inspired something else too: a tanorexic doll. Good grief!
Photo: nypost.com and wtsp.com