New law bans minors from tanning beds


Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi

HERRIN, Ill. - If you are under the age of 18, you no longer have access to tanning beds.

Lawmakers say it is a safety measure to make sure teenagers are not exposed to harmful UV rays that can cause cancer.

Lawmakers say the bulbs in tanning beds cast UV rays that are as carcinogenic as cigarettes.

Salon owner Holly Burks disagrees.

"We try to coach our staff and our patrons to tan responsibly. There is no responsible way to smoke a cigarette," said Burks.

The American Academy of Dermatology supports the state's decision to ban minors from the beds.

They say those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning beds a 75% increase in the risk of melanoma.

But Burks say we're in more danger outside.

"Tanning beds have filtered UV rays. You're standing outside with no filter over you," said Burks.

Karen Garegnani is 18 years old.

She feels the regulation is a little strict.

"I would say that 16 is a little more reasonable since that is the year you get your license," said Garegnani.

Burks says adding spray-tans is the only way to recoup lost funds.

She hopes this law will not mean "lights-out" for business.

There are more than 100 new laws which take effect Wednesday in Illinois.

In addition to the tanning regulation, 17-year-old's can vote in the primary election if they will be 18 by the general election.

It also will be illegal for your child's school to access their e-mail or Facebook account without your consent.