Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Chicago City Council voted today to pass an ordinance to ban minors under the age of 18 from using tanning beds in Chicago salons.

City leaders voted overwhelmingly in support of ordinance. A total of 38 aldermen co-signed the legislation.

Silverstein said she is proud to see Chicago become the first major U.S. city to vote to protect young people from skin cancer and melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

“The Center for Disease Control and the leading medical experts — and the Chicago City Council — agree overwhelmingly that indoor tanning kills. It is growing epidemic among young women that we must actively work to turn back. We made a very strong case with the help of survivors who bravely shared their stories and the help of the American Cancer Society and health care advocates from across the country,” she said.

Silverstein said she and the coalition of supporters she has assembled are prepared to fight any efforts by the tanning industry to rollback this critical public health legislation.

“In the pursuit of profits, the tanning industry tried and failed to derail and delay legislation that we know will save lives. The stories I have heard from survivors and their families are tragic. No one should have to suffer needlessly like this. The science, the facts and public opinion are on our side: Young people are dramatically more likely to suffer from skin cancer, melanoma and other health problems when they are exposed to tanning beds in their teens,” she said.

Dr. Katherine Griem, President of the American Cancer Society, Illinois Division, said she applauds Alderman Silverstein’s efforts to protect minors from a real cancer risk.

“UV tanning is in the same category as cigarettes, mustard gas, arsenic and alcoholic beverages. We will work with our legion of Chicago volunteers to defeat any attempt to weaken this ordinance,” she said.

In attendance at the City Council meeting were more than 40 health care advocates including Dr. June Robinson, a top researcher at Northwestern University, skin cancer survivors Katrina Polansky and Donna Moncivaiz, and representatives from the American Cancer Society and dermatological associations.

In Illinois, there will be approximately 2,460 new melanoma cases each year. Illinois has the eighth highest number of new melanoma cases in the United States.

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