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Underage Tanning Law Essay

1396 words - 6 pages

Many teens today feel pressured to live up to society's standards. They believe that perfect hair, flawless makeup, designer clothes, and bronze skin is required. This is where tanning beds come into play. About 29.5 percent of teenagers use indoor tanning devices. (Health Day News). However, is the warm, golden glow going to be achievable any more? State Representatives are considering new restrictions, and changing existing laws, in regards to teen tanning. These new commands will ban teens from tanning. Are these bills acceptable? Are they needed? The Senate and Assembly of New York agreed to ban teens ages 16 years and younger from tanning beds (Precious). Lawmakers in New Jersey are ...view middle of the document...

However, not everyone has these factors. Depending on your skin and heredity, you may or may not develop cancer.
In 2006, World Health Organization cancer research agency stated that studies do not show enough consistent evidence that only tanning causes skin cancer, but data showed that it is a risk (Phillips). Just because a teenager uses a tanning device does not mean they are definitely going to have skin cancer when they are older. Nancy Jeffery stated that an eight to fifteen minute tanning session is safe; it gives a healthy dose of vitamin D, and it is a controlled time limit (Hughes). Tanning can ease the effects of skin conditions (Nightengale). Psoriasis, which causes redness and irritation of the skin, and eczema, which causes rashes, blisters, and irritations, can both be treated by tanning beds (Nightengale). UVA rays help build the body's defenses against diseases, such as diabetes, depression, hypertension, cancer, and osteoporosis (Student Research Center).
There is a large debate about new restrictions involving teen tanning. Many governments believe there should be stronger laws against tanning beds. Scholastic Action states that it is the government’s job to protect teens from dangers. A large amount of the United States has laws banning teens under the age of thirteen to tan, and allowing ages fourteen through seventeen to tan with parent approval (Phillips). Teen tanning in New Jersey is accepted, but only with parent consent forms (N.J. Bans Minors). If the government enforces these new laws, teenagers will not be able to tan at all from the use of indoor tanning devices. Is it really necessary for the government to make all of our choices though? Should we not be free to decide on our own if we can use tanning facilities or not?
Scholastic Action states that teens and parents should decide if they should tan, not the government (No Teen Tanning?). Why is it the governments choice if I can tan or not? Parents should be able to make that decision for their child. Besides, even if the government bans teens from using tanning salons, it will not completely stop tanning. During the summertime, when the sun produces strong natural rays, there is no limit on how long you can be outside. If someone wanted to, they could stay outdoors all day long, and get a golden tan. Really, what is the difference? In both sources, indoor facility or outdoors, your skin absorbs the UV rays and responds by turning a darker color. Also, studies show that teens have a higher risk of getting sunburned or overexposed outdoors, because there is no time limit (Tellers). Which basically means that you can have a higher possibility of skin cancer by tanning naturally or outdoors than by using a tanning device. So why is the government making restrictions on tanning beds, when in reality, teenagers can just tan during the summertime naturally? Is banning ages eighteen and under from tanning salons really going to eliminate the risk of skin cancer?...

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