Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley) and Assemblymember Karen McMahon (D-Amherst) announced that they have introduced legislation (S1873/A8935) to raise the minimum age for use of ultraviolet radiation devices, such as tanning beds, from 18 to 21 years.
According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, more than 419,000 annual cases of skin cancer in the U.S. are linked to indoor tanning. The Foundation also found that those who experience just one indoor tanning session before the age of 35 increase their risk of developing life-threatening melanoma – a serious form of skin cancer that can spread rapidly to other organs – by 75%.
“Putting this safeguard in place will keep thousands of young New Yorkers from making an ill-informed cosmetic decision that could have a dramatic and irreversible impact on their long-term health,” said Senator Skoufis. “I urge my colleagues in both chambers to support this important measure this session.”
“The growing popularity of indoor tanning is clear, but what is often overlooked, especially by young people, are the risks associated with UV tanning,” said Assemblymember McMahon. “A startling number of skin cancers and cases of other skin conditions have been directly traced back to the effects of tanning. I’m proud to join Senator Skoufis in pushing for a raise to the minimum age requirement to use such facilities. Raising the age helps to ensure those who choose to partake in such activities have a better understanding of the health risks. I look forward to its passage in the Legislature.”
"Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will get skin cancer in his or her lifetime," said Dr. Thomas Schenk, interim director of the Population Health Collaborative of Western New York, a not-for-profit organization focused on improving the health status of the people in the eight counties of Western New York. "The use of UV tanning beds before age 30 has been associated with an increased risk of skin cancer.
Policies that restrict early access to UV tanning beds may be effective in preventing future cases of skin cancer and align with the mission of creating a healthier tomorrow for the people of Western New York and New York State in general."