Iowa Senate Narrowly Passes Ban on Minors Utilizing Tanning Beds


Lucy McGehee, Reporter

The Iowa Senate passed a bill Tuesday that bans anyone under 18 years of age from utilizing tanning beds without consent from a licensed healthcare professional for various health reasons. The bill passed narrowly, 26-23, but with both Republicans and Democrats voting in favor of it.

Similar discussions of a ban on tanning for minors have been brought up by the Iowa House of Representatives, leaving some ambiguity that the Iowa Legislature will forbid tanning, but does have the possibility of being passed in the near future.

Concerns of cancerous side effects of tanning have risen in the past year. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) now requires tanning beds and sun lamps to have labels which state that people who use tanning beds regularly should also be screened for skin cancer regularly.

One of the 20 Republicans against the bill, Senator Mark Chelgren (R-Ottumwa) argued that tanning decisions should be left unto the parents, and people younger than 18 could still buy and possess an in-home tanning bed if they could afford it and tan unregulated, as this bill does not interfere with such instances.

If the bill moves forward throughout the Legislature, Iowa would become the 11th state (including District of Columbia) to fully ban tanning devices for anyone younger than 18.