Springfield City Council members are considering a measure that would ban the use of indoor tanning beds for minors.
Health advocates are pushing the proposal, but not all aldermen agree with them. Rachel Otwell has this report:
Heather Eagleton is with the Illinois Division of the American Cancer Society.
She says melanoma, a type of skin cancer, is one of the most common types of cancer in the country. And Eagleton says Illinois has the eighth highest number of new melanoma cases.
EAGLETON: “We do encourage all people to minimize exposure to the UV tanning rays as they have been shown to increase your risk for melanoma and other forms of skin cancers.”
Eagleton says young people have increased risks of getting cancer from the U-V rays in tanning beds and are too young to make an informed decision about tanning.
Currently adolescents ages 14 thru 17 can tan in the beds with a parent’s permission.
Ward One alderman Frank Edwards says that’s the way it should be, and a ban would be too over-reaching:
EDWARDS: “It’s a little nibble away from freedom. If you’re under 18, you have to do things in consultation with your parents. And the parents need to step in and say, ‘This isn’t good for you, this isn’t healthy for you.’ And I just feel uneasy about government taking over that role.”
The city council is slated to vote on the proposed ban next week.