Local salons could be hard hit by teen tanning ban

By WEEK Producer

August 16, 2013 Updated Aug 16, 2013 at 6:51 PM CDT

Tanning salons across the state may take a hit, following a new ban against one of their biggest demographics.

Catching some rays in a UV tanning bed will soon be a thing of the past for Illinois teens.

"I would probably like try to buy my own tanning bed or use a friend’s if they had one. I would be pretty mad,” said Erin Gilliatt of East Peoria.

On Thursday, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation that bans the use of tanning beds by anyone under the age of 18. The new law goes into effect January 1, 2014.

The move makes Illinois the sixth state to ban tanning for teens.

Joanne Thomason, owner of Jay Cee's Salon in East Peoria, thinks the bill is a bad idea and something that should not be up to the governor to decide.

"Researchers are saying that diet sodas are being linked to cancer. Are we going to set an age limit on people purchasing diet pop? I think we shouldn't be taking this away from teenagers,” said Thomason.

Thomason adds that her salon provides safe ways to tan, which include tanning in moderation along with appropriate sunscreen and protective eye wear.

However, a local dermatologist is in support of the bill.

"Like most minors or younger people they think this is not going to happen to me,” said Dr. Douglas Leone of Dermatology and Mohs Surgery Institute. “They have that young mentality that they are invincible and this happens to other people. So I think overall this bill is a good thing."

Many teens may result to natural UV rays once they are not allowed in a tanning bed.

Tanning salons do expect to take a hit, however, they are hoping their non-UV tanning options will compensate.

As for teens who may rely on tanning for conditions like psoriasis or acne, doctors say they recommend using their treatments over the melanoma risks of tanning beds.

According to the American Cancer Society, studies have found a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma for those who use indoor UV tanning.

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