Maryland to add cancer warning to parental consent form for indoor tanning

Language suggests children should 'never use tanning devices'

November 15, 2013|By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun

A form parents must sign before their children use indoor tanning devices will warn that the practice can cause skin cancer and possibly death under a new policy state health officials adopted Friday.

"Indoor tanning can cause skin cancer. Skin cancer can be fatal," the statement reads. "To reduce the risk of skin cancer, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 18 never use tanning devices."

The language was adopted after two rounds of public comment on revisions. It will be used starting Dec. 15.

The Maryland State Council on Cancer Control, an advisory panel whose 25 members are appointed by the governor, unanimously voted in September to recommended the change.

Tanning industry officials who weighed in on the policy could not be reached for comment Friday. They have argued against the language saying they do not believe there is a proven link between indoor tanning and skin cancer.

The General Assembly passed a law in 2008 requiring parents or legal guardians to provide written consent before a child can use a tanning device. The consent forms must be signed at least every six months if a child is making regular visits to a tanning salon.

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