Opponents, however, say many salon operators already have rules in place that make such laws unnecessary. The provisions will become little more than a drag on local economies, they say.
Mitch Teal, owner of Bronze Planet tanning salons in the Salem, Ore., area, says his salons require minors to have parental permission to use tanning beds and that if a ban passes the effect "is going to be fewer customers," Teal said.
"And that is going to mean less ability for small business to expand, less ability to hire new employees," he added.
Teal said about 4 percent of his clients are younger than 18. "Very few businesses can absorb a 4 percent hit," he said.
The Oregon proposal, he said, would represent a second blow to the industry following the "tanning tax" provision of the federal Affordable Care Act, which requires salons to impose a 10 percent levy on ultraviolet ray sessions.
Statistics show that about 13 percent of high school students use tanning salons, according to the CDC. Among female 12th-graders, that number rises to 32 percent.
"Most girls go to tanning beds in high school for proms and winter formals," said Angie Herriges, an aesthetician in The Dalles, Ore. "They want to be tan. That's why I did it."
She, like Donnar, was diagnosed with skin cancer after tanning as teenager and continuing to visit sun booths throughout her 20s.
Herriges said doctors told her she had basal cell carcinoma in her mid-30s. She has since recovered and sworn off sun lamps — but not bronzing. She now operates a spray tan booth, which she says is a safe way for the industry to mitigate expected losses if the bans become law.
Dr. Bud Pierce, president of the Oregon Medical Association, agrees that sprays are a safe way to simulate the effect of sun rays, adding that ultraviolet lamps are not — ever.
"No dose is safe," he said, explaining that medical professionals say young people who use tanning beds are particularly vulnerable to an increased risk of skin cancers.
"When I started 20 years ago, I almost never saw young people with melanoma," he said, adding that he now sees people in their early teens with skin cancer.
"One can never be 100 percent sure that one thing is the sole cause" of cancer, he said. "But certainly multiple researchers have agreed that UV rays are a carcinogen."
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