An article posted at MSNBC a little while back points to the possibility of tanning beds getting an interesting restriction placed on them; rather, teens under the age of 16 will have restricted use. Ever since a 15 year old girl suffered a bout with skin cancer, which she attributed to the tanning salon she began visiting, she has been pleading with lawmakers to restrict access to tanning beds for those 16 and younger. Seventeen states, including Florida and Hawaii, are considering this action. Minors would need a doctor’s note to use the beds in some states, although in others their use may be outright banned.
What we need to take away from this isn’t what is “right” or “wrong” in terms of lawmakers and the right for people to choose what to expose their skin to. What we need to remember, and is mentioned in the article, is that our skin, like all our organs, hasn’t matured while we’re minors. That is to say, it is more susceptible to things like skin cancer if exposed to carcinogens like those found in tanning beds. This is not up for dispute – this is the truth. The real dispute lies with what you choose to do with this knowledge.