Prince George’s County Council passed a local ordinance that will no longer allow minors to use indoor tanning devices in the county.
The new ordinance, passed on July 18, will not allow anyone under the age of 18 to use indoor tanning devices whether or not a fee is charged. Tanning facilities will also be required to post signs about the age restriction and must follow strict regulations on timing devices.
The Maryland Save Your Skin Coalition, including the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Maryland Dermatologic Society and the American Academy of Dermatology Association all support the bill.
Larry Green, MD, FAAD, who testified in support of the bill on behalf of MDS and AADA, said the ban will protect its young people from the health risks associated with indoor tanning.
Green said researchers estimate indoor tanning can cause more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the U.S. each year.
“I hope that this ban in Prince George’s County will inspire other counties to consider legislation that prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from using tanning facilities.” Green said.
The American Cancer Society states that 1,590 Maryland residents are diagnosed with melanoma of the skin and 190 are expected to die from this disease each year.
Councilmember Mary Lehman said the county is taking a critical step to keep more children healthy and safe.
“Overexposure to ultraviolet light by children and teenagers is extremely dangerous and greatly increases the chances of developing skin cancer later in life.” Lehman said in the release.