Nebraska lawmakers heard passionate public testimony on a measure that would ban minors from tanning facilities, amid concerns that tanning beds can cause skin cancer.
The Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee held a hearing on the issue Friday at the Capitol.
Sen. Jeremy Nordquist of Omaha introduced the measure, which would ban minors under the age of 18 from using tanning beds. Nebraska currently does not have any age restrictions on indoor tanning.
Among these passionate people are owners of two local tanning salons. Michelle Grubbs of Max Tan and Monica Parris of Alternative Tan are not in favor of the ban.
“They simply gloss over that exposure outside is really harmful,” said Parris. “The cause of most skin cancers is from too much exposure… most from the sun.”
Several skin cancer survivors and dermatologists speak in favor of the bill.
“There is no such thing as a safe tan,” said Margaret K Sutton, a dermatologist at Sutton and Ryan, “even tans obtained from natural sunlight.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says those under 35 who tan have a 75 percent higher risk of melanoma.
“We are seeing more skin cancers in younger people,” said Sutton, “especially the more serious kind, the melanoma.”