New law requires parental permission for many Mo. teens to use tanning beds

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by Alissa Reitmeier / News 4 and Dan Greenwald / KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on August 28, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 28 at 5:32 PM

(KMOV.com) – A new law requires parents to provide permission for someone under 17 in Missouri to tan.

Under the new law, a parent must provide written consent the salon once per year. Several tanning salons told News 4 they were complying with the law before Thursday’s deadline. Studies conducted at Washington University have found that more than half of tanning bed users are minors.

“Over time hopefully it will decrease,” Dr. Lynn Cornelius, Chief of Dermatology at Washington University.

Early exposure to ultraviolet light increases the risk of skin cancer later in life. Many parents said they hope the new restrictions will encourage safer options.

“It always happens to someone else, it never happens to you. So I don’t know how effective it will be, but it’s a great step,” said Webster Groves resident Merille Maclellan.

Business that allow those under 17-years-old to tan will face a $100 fine for a first violations and fine of $500 for additional citations.

Cornelius, who lobbied for the bill, said she and her team will continue to lobby lawmakers for more education and stricter regulations on tanning beds.

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