The number of New Yorkers diagnosed with melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, has doubled since the 1990s. In reaction to those numbers, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will soon be able to add transferring oversight of tanning salons to the New York City Department of Health the tanorexic plan to his list of public health ventures. These already include banning smoking at the city s bars and restaurants, banning trans fats from most foods on the market, requiring listing of calories on fast food restaurant menus and attempts at regulating serving sizes of sugary drinks.
Under this new plan which is being submitted to the Board of Health today and is expected to be adopted this spring, the health department would inspect tanning salons and equipment every two years, investigate unlicensed salons, require those working the machines to attend training sessions, enforce the law banning those under 17, and launch an educational campaign to warn New Yorkers about known risks from using tanning beds.
According to Daniel Kass, the city s deputy health commissioner for environmental health, There is no doubt that tanning increases the risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. We want to make sure kids are not using these salons.
ACSH s Ariel Savransky adds, Given that the dangers of tanning are well-known and indisputable , when these policy changes do take effect, they will hopefully be enough to deter the majority of people especially those most at risk, teens from choosing to use tanning beds. The messages about tanning beds and their link to skin cancer are prevalent in our society, yet people choose to ignore them. These new policies may change that.