Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Minors under the age of 18 would be barred from tanning facilities under a new ordinance introduced today by Alderman Debra Silverstein, 50th Ward.

Under current Illinois law, minors under the age of 14 are forbidden from using a tanning facility. Under Silverstein’s ordinance, the prohibition would extend to minors under the age of 18, only in the City of Chicago.

“Protecting the health of our young people is paramount,” Alderman Silverstein said. “We regulate cigarettes being sold to minors under the age of 18 mainly because they are harmful to our youth. I do not see why this should not be extended to barring minors under the age of 18 from tanning facilities. As a mother, it is my job to protect my children. I think it is time now for the City to do its best to protect all children from the harmful effects of tanning salons.”

Prior to introducing the ordinance, Alderman Silverstein was in contact with the Illinois Dermatological Society, which supports the measure.

According to Dr. Alix Charles, President of the Illinois Dermatological Society, countless scientific studies have shown clear and compelling evidence that tanning bed use increases the risk of developing all forms of skin cancer.

“In 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer conducted a meta-analysis and has since placed tanning beds in its Class 1 carcinogen category. Cigarettes, plutonium and ultraviolet radiation from the sun are in the same category,” he said.

The ordinance will be assigned to the Committee on Licensing and Consumer Protection and a hearing will follow.

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