People younger than 18 would be banned from indoor tanning under a proposal unveiled Saturday by a Manhattan congresswoman.
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) wants to introduce a bill requiring the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates sun lamps used in tanning beds and booths, to study imposing a nationwide ban for youth.
Nearly half of states already have age-based restrictions, ranging from 13 to 18, requiring varying degrees of a parental consent, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In New York, would-be tanners must be at least 17.
Maloney has successfully pushed for stricter regulation of tanning equipment for years, such as adding warning labels.
"My constituents come to me in my office in tears, crying, saying they're in Stage 3 cancer, they're going to die, and they're going to die because they went to the tanning beds," she said.
Maloney gathered dermatologists at her news conference to provide dire figures.
Dr. Jessica Krant said 2.3 million teens indoor-tan every year in America, and 9,000 people will die in 2014 of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer.
The Indoor Tanning Association could not be reached for comment Saturday but in the past said users should practice moderation and that tanning is a good source of vitamin D.
But Maloney's doctors said people with a vitamin deficiency should take a supplement, not tan indoors, and they say that indoor tanning rays don't even provide the needed vitamin.
Indoor tanning's level of ultraviolet radiation is worse than the unforgiving midday sun under which Maloney spoke yesterday, according to Dr. Joshua Zuckerman."I just hope everyone is wearing sunblock," Maloney told reporters. She was.