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Should kids be allowed to use tanning beds?

State health officials are reviewing Maryland's tanning bed regulations.

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said Friday it wants public input on the regulations, which require anyone under 18 to have permission from a parent or guardian before using a tanning bed. A consent form must be signed in the presence of a tanning bed owner or operator.

The regulations were created in response to a 2008 law.

DHMH didn't say whether it was seeking to strengthen or weaken the law, only whether it should be "updated."

The agency named three specific areas it is most interested in hearing about:

1. the health risks associated with tanning devices and their use by minors

2. information on whether the state's consent and age verification procedures are being followed

3. recommendations on whether to change consent and age verification procedures

At least one group may use the review to try and get the regulations strengthened. State doctor's group Medchi had sought legislation during the last General Assembly to prohibit use of tanning beds by people under age 18, but it did not pass.

The group said the use of  tanning beds early in life is linked to an increased risk of the three most common skin cancers. 

Written comments on the issue can be issued to DHMH by Aug. 31. A hearing wil be held Sept. 18.

Comments may be submitted by mail to Michele Phinney, Director, Office of Regulation and Policy Coordination, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 201 W. Preston St., Room 512, Baltimore, MD 21201 or call 410-767-6499, TTY: 800-735-2258, or by email to regs@dhmh.state.md.us, or by fax to 410-767-6483

 

 

 

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