Gov. Brown signs Sen. Ted Lieu bill banning teens under 18 from using cancer-causing tanning beds

October 09, 2011

First-in-the nation ban will take effect statewide on Jan. 1, 2012
SACRAMENTO – Heeding calls from health and safety experts, Gov. Brown today signed the first-in-the-nation law, by Sen. Ted W. Lieu, banning youths under age 18 from using indoor tanning booths.

“I praise Gov. Brown for his courage in taking this much-needed step to protect some of California’s most vulnerable residents – our kids – from what the ‘House of Medicine’ has conclusively shown is lethally dangerous: ultraviolet-emitting radiation from tanning beds,” said Lieu, D-Torrance.  “If everyone knew the true dangers of tanning beds, they’d be shocked. Skin cancer is a rising epidemic and the leading cause of cancer death for women between 25 and 29.”

Echoing Lieu in their support for Senate Bill 746 were numerous health, cancer and melanoma experts, plus melanoma survivors who had used tanning beds extensively when younger.

“Indoor tanning is especially harmful because of the intense and dangerous type of UV rays emitted  from the tanning beds,” Lieu said. “Moreover the skin damage is cumulative, so the more exposure one gets younger in life, the worse the harmful effects will be."

Sponsored by California Society of Dermatology & Dermatological Surgery and the AIM at Melanoma Foundation, SB 746 sought to protect youths from the cancer-causing effects of tanning beds. The bill was supported by numerous groups, including the California Medical Association, Anthem Blue Cross, Kaiser Permanente and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Existing law prohibits persons under age 14 from using ultraviolet tanning devices but permits those between 14 and 18 with permission of their parent or legal guardian. Research, however, shows those who use tanning beds before age 35 increase their lifetime risk of melanoma by 75 percent. 

SB 746 takes effect Jan. 1, 2012. 
For more, including links to scientific studies on tanning beds and an Op-Ed on the dangers, visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below.

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Labor represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Los Angeles and Long Beach. For more, visit

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