Teens' tan regulation in N.D. bill
Ashley Callahan's plan to tan for an upcoming school dance would be illegal under a bill proposed by North Dakota lawmakers. House Bill 1154 aims to prohibit people younger than 16 from using tanning facilities. The idea was brought forward by tw...
Ashley Callahan's plan to tan for an upcoming school dance would be illegal under a bill proposed by North Dakota lawmakers.
House Bill 1154 aims to prohibit people younger than 16 from using tanning facilities.
The idea was brought forward by two Bismarck-area dermatologists, said Rep. George Keiser, R-Bismarck, the prime sponsor of the bill.
"These folks are the people who work in the industry every day that have the opportunity to see skin cancer," Keiser said.
"Dermatologists in general do not like tanning beds at all, but they have a great concern when people begin to use them at too early of an age," he said.
Several other states have passed similar legislation. Wisconsin state law prohibits people under 16 from using tanning salons.
Keiser said he understands girls like to tan before prom and other dances. However, there are other options, such as spray-tanning.
"Given that there are safer alternatives that work reasonably well, we are supporting our local dermatologists on this issue," Keiser said of himself and the bill's co-sponsor, Sen. Ralph Kilzer, R-Bismarck.
The idea received mixed reviews from Fargo South teenagers.
Callahan, a 15-year-old sophomore preparing for the school's Snowball dance, thinks the bill is "sort of stupid." She uses a tanning salon three or four times a year.
"The person who's tanning - I think it's mainly their concern," Callahan said. "It's their fault if something happens to them."
In her case, Callahan said her mother had to go to the tanning salon to give her permission to tan, due to her age.
Some girls at school have tanning beds in their houses, she said.
Fargo South sophomore Lindsey Kringlie - who turned 16 last week - said it's more common for juniors and seniors to tan than underclassmen.
She doesn't use tanning salons herself, but said she thinks it should be a person's choice.
"They're not really hurting other people," Kringlie said.
Fargo South junior Bryan Klepperich, 16, said he takes more of a middle-of-the-road approach.
The bill to limit people who can tan "makes sense" because some people overdo it, he said. He said he used a tanning salon when he was 15 to prevent a burn before he went on a cruise.
West Fargo Native Sun manager Alicia Odens said the business has brochures about teenage tanning.
The business rarely sees people younger than 16 unless they're cases similar to Klepperich's - teens going on vacation.
In that case, customers 15 and younger must have a guardian come in and sign a release form, she said.
It's wise for anyone who is going to suddenly be exposed to strong sun to develop a base tan ahead of time, Odens said.
"A tanning bed is actually smarter than tanning outside because it's a controlled environment," she said.
Odens said she thinks the decision of teen tanning should be up to parents.
Attempts to reach Fargo and Bismarck dermatologists for comment on the bill were unsuccessful Friday afternoon.
The bill's first hearing is scheduled for 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Teri Finneman at (701) 241-5560