Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Council Approves Teen Tan Ban

Violators face up to $250 fine

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Chicago tanning salons that allow teens to fake bake will face fines up to $250 after action taken Wednesday by the City Council.

    The ordinance, introduced by Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th), does not affect spray tans, bronzers and tanning beds in private residences.Thirty-eight alderman co-signed the legislation.

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    But it does bar teens from using beds in salons, even if they have parental permission. That fact raised eyebrows from some who feel the ordinance goes too far.

    "I don't think it's the city's place to start telling parents what to do with their children," Halsted Street Beach owner Matthew Turner said last week after a council committee backed the ban.

    Silverstein said the ordinance will save lives. Two former tanning enthusiasts who testified last week were on hand Wednesday to witness the council's action.

    The American Academy of Dermatology Association was quick to applaud vote that made Chicago the first U.S. city to institute a ban. California and Vermont have similar, statewide bans.

    "A ban on indoor tanning for minors is critical to preventing skin cancer," said Dr. Daniel M. Siegel in a written statement. "Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, with the most rapid increases occurring among young, white women, the most common users of indoor tanning beds. Prohibiting minors' access to indoor tanning stops this behavior before it can become a habit that continues into adulthood."

    A Yale University study released in December 2011 showed the use of a tanning bed increases one's risk of skin cancer by 69 percent.

    Chicago City Clerk: Legislative Information Center