Regulations at the tanning bed could soon be up for debate among lawmakers
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RALEIGH -- It's a practice that's been at the center of controversy for years -- indoor tanning and regulations placed on salons.
"What we're doing is trying to help the under 18 avoid using the class one carcinogen," said David Ollila, Professor of Surgery at UNC Chapel Hill.
On Monday, a committee from the Child Fatality Task Force discussed North Carolina's rank in melanoma cases among women. They say the state is above the national average for skin cancer cases.
“The incidence is rising. This is one risk factor you can control and have an effect on,” said Craig Burkhart, a Pediatric Dermatologist at UNC Chapel Hill.
That's why they're looking to the General Assembly to put more regulations in place to have teens under 18 be banned from tanning beds.
“We're not here to get in between you and your children. We're here to help you and make this a real law so your child doesn't get a skin cancer at a young age,” added Ollila.
Some tanning salons believe regulations like this are just another attack on their business.
“I think it's a parents decision if a child should tan indoors or not if they're under the age of 18,” said Jill Donovan, owner of Jills Beach.
Donovan says she agrees with the current regulation requiring parental consent for teens under 18. She says tanning should be monitored to prevent overexposure.
“You have a skin analysis when you come in and we have a matrix between the different levels and the different skin types and we adjust the time accordingly,” added Donovan.
However, as for a complete ban on the use of tanning beds for young teens she calls it a "slippery slope."
“I think once we let government decide what they're going to do for our children it's going to have tremendous repercussions across the board,” Donovan said.
The recommendation will now be up for discussion among the Full Child Fatality Task Force in April. It could then make its way to the General Assembly in May.