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Lawmakers want teens out of tanning beds

A bill that would keep some Kentucky teenagers out of tanning beds, took a step forward Tuesday. The Kentucky House passed a proposal that would ban people younger than 14 from using tanning beds, and anyone between 14 and 18 would have to get a parent's permission first.

Tanning salons can get dozens of visits a day, thousands a year, and lawmakers in Kentucky are trying to keep teens far away.

"I think the health benefits outweigh what the bill is trying to protect them from. So many kids are stuck in the house these days, they're not getting the vitamin D that they need to, just to have a healthy body," explained Pam Rudd with Lexington's SunSpa. Rudd believes there are health benefits in beds. She says they work with clients that have psoriasis and other skin conditions.

House Representative David Watkins wrote the bill, that restricts anyone younger than 14 from using a tanning bed.

"I just don't think there's any benefit to it really, other than maybe a little appearance," he explained, "young children, their cells are dividing and they're more sensitive to radiation damage than an adult."

The new bill also means anyone between 14 and 18 years old can't tan without a parent's permission. Rudd says that's already a policy at SunSpa, "since we opened our doors in 2000 we've always required anybody under the age of 18 to have a parent or guardian signature. We promote healthy bodies here." Rudd says about 5% of their clients are teenagers.

The bill now moves on to a vote in the State Senate.


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