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BANGKOK POST: California bans under-age tanning, public guns
October 10, 2011
California governor Jerry Brown won praise for banning under-18s from using tanning beds, the first US state to do so to protect minors from increased skin cancer risks.
The move was approved amid a slew of new state laws, including one that bans people from openly carrying guns in public, while he vetoed a plan to let colleges take account of ethnic make up in their admissions policies.
Brown signed the tanning bill into law Sunday after dismissing arguments from the tanning industry that the current law -- which requires children between age 14 and 18 to get parental consent -- was sufficient.
"California's decision to ban under 18 year olds from tanning beds is a welcome step in the right direction for a needless exercise that is a known and significant health threat," Wendy K.D. Selig, head of the Melanoma Research Alliance.
"It is well documented that indoor tanning contributes to skin cancer, including melanoma, which can have fatal consequences," she added.
The MRA cited studies compiled by the World Health Organization which said there was a 75% increased risk of melanoma -- the most common cancer in US women age 25-29 -- in indoor tanning bed use.
The author of the new law in California -- which enjoys year-round sunshine, in the south of the state at least -- also praised Brown, saying the move was backed by doctors, nurses and the American Cancer Society.
"I praise Governor Brown for his courage in taking this much-needed step to protect some of California's most vulnerable residents -- our kids.... If everyone knew the true dangers of tanning beds, they'd be shocked," said Ted Lieu.
Studies compiled by the World Health Organization said there was a 75% increased risk of melanoma -- the most common cancer in US women age 25-29 -- in indoor tanning bed use.