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Local tanning operators say their policies ahead of new law
2014/6/12 11:45:26 Source: joplinglobe Author:Eli Yokley 点击率:

Operators of local tanning salons do not think they will be affected by a new state law that will regulate the ability of minors to use tanning beds.

The law, signed last week by Gov. Jay Nixon, requires tanning businesses to receive in-person parental consent for anyone younger than 17 to use their beds. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 39 states and the District of Columbia now regulate indoor tanning for minors. Eight states, including neighboring Illinois, ban the use of ultraviolet tanning devices by anyone under 18.

“Making sure families understand the risks associated with indoor tanning is a common-sense measure that will improve public health,” Nixon said in a statement. “This legislation will bring Missouri in line with the large and growing number of states taking steps to prevent cancer and protect kids.”

Randy Burleson, owner of Club Tan, which has locations at 909 S. Range Line Road and in Rogers, Arkansas, said the new regulation will not mean much of a change because his company already requires parental consent for minors.

“Most of the salons that are associated with one of the trade organizations generally have already adopted a parental consent type format,” he said. “Not from the standpoint from a concern about the safety, but from the standpoint of allowing and making sure parents know what their kids are doing.” His consent form — applied in both Arkansas and Missouri — requires those under 18 to receive parental consent before they can use his services.

Burleson testified before the Legislature when the bill was heard this session. “Once they start implementing it, other owners will wonder why this took place, but that’s just the fact of life,” he said. “A lot of people find out about laws after they’re passed and debate.”

Other local salons, including Tan Line in Webb City, Dark Side Tanning Salon and Tropical Tan, also already require in-person parental consent before a minor can use their businesses.

“We’ve always done that,” said Jeannette Royle, manager at Tropical Tan. “It’s nothing new at this place. You have to sign a legal release form when you start tanning. Legally, you can’t be a minor to sign a legal document so you can understand the policies. It’s also out of respect for the parents.”

Gary Burton, a former state representative from Joplin who now lobbies in Jefferson City for several organizations, including the American Suntanning Association, said the hang-up in previous years had not been over consent. Instead, the divide had been over the structure of fines that sought to punish businesses operating tanning beds if the new regulation was not enforced.

“In the past, they would not negotiate any kind of deal to where you could have a smaller fine the first time, and a step-up situation like we ended up with this year,” Burton said. “This year, the Missouri Dermatology Society sat down with me and the suntanning people and said they’d like to pass something and get something realistic.”

Under the step scale, tanning businesses will be subject to a fine of $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second violation and $500 for each subsequent violation. “Every use of a tanning device in a tanning salon in violation of this section is a separate offense,” the bill specifies.

With Nixon’s signature, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services will now be tasked with developing a consent form, subject to legislative approval. Burton said “it’s not an overnight deal,” and that the procedure could take several months as various interest groups add their input.

FOR 30 YEARS, sunlamps and related products, including tanning beds, have been regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They must have labels alerting customers to recommended exposure levels, and how certain medications and cosmetics increase sensitivity to ultraviolet light. Last month, the FDA announced that it is requiring more prominent warnings about the cancer risks of exposure to ultraviolet rays. The new regulation requires that the makers of tanning beds include a bold label saying that they should not be used by people younger than 18.

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