Changes to tanning laws for minors proposed in Michigan House

    In February, a bill that includes banning people under the age of 18 from using tanning beds was proposed. (WPBN/Rachael Schuit)

    MICHIGAN (WPBN/WGTU) -- Between Spring Break, prom, or just the dreary winter weather in general, going to the tanning salon can be tempting and relaxing.

    But there's a proposal making its way through Lansing to change that for minors.

    House Bill No. 4205 was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives in February.

    The bill is proposing a ban on indoor tanning salons for anyone under the age of 18.

    "Once I had a license, like I was able to go to with my girlfriends, and we would tan after school so I've been tanning since I was 16," said Aubrey Maxa, a customer at Sun Kissed Tanning Salon in Cadillac.

    Aubrey Maxa is an adult now but has enjoyed tanning since she was in high school.

    Right now, teens under the age of 18 can tan at a salon with the consent of a parent.

    But the proposal in the Michigan House would ban tanning for minors altogether, something that Cathy Bradshaw, the owner of Sun Kissed Tanning Salon and others don't agree with.

    "I don't think the government has a right to tell them they can't do that," said Bradshaw.

    "I think the law is fine the way it is, covering the bases, just like school field trips you need your parents permission and if your parents agree, you're fine," said Allissa Dersa, an employee and customer at Sun Kissed Tanning Salon.

    Bradshaw argues that laying under a tanning bed can be better than laying under the sun.

    "They are monitored, you know how many UV Rays you're getting unlike when you're outside in the sun, you don't know how many UV rays you're getting, you don't' know how long you're out there to get the tan," said Bradshaw.

    But dermatologists like Dr. Laurel Leithauser think a proposal like this is long overdue.

    Leithauser says the earlier you start tanning, the higher your risk for Melanoma.

    "There's some good evidence showing that tanning bed use in young adults increases the Melanoma risk over a life time by about 75 percent," said Leithauser.

    Leithauser says she's seen some fatal cases of melanoma.

    "I've seen several Melanomas in people that are in their twenties. I've even seen a few people sadly die of Melanoma in their twenties," said Leithauser.

    Despite those risks, tanning customers say it's a choice they should be able to make themselves.

    "If you want the exposure to it you should be able to choose to do so," said Maxa.

    The bill was introduced in the Michigan House of Representatives in February and referred to the Regulatory Reform Committee.

    If it passes, tanning salons that allow minors to tan could face a fine of $150.

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