Bill banning tanning beds for youth goes to governor

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Those under age 18 would be banned from using tanning beds in Washington state under a measure going to Gov. Jay Inslee's desk.

Senate Bill 6065 passed through the Senate Tuesday on a 42-6 vote after they concurred on an amendment made by the House that would allow teenagers to use a tanning bed or related device if they have a doctor's prescription. The House passed the measure in February.

Users of tanning equipment would have to show a driver's license or other form of gov government-issued identification with a birth date and photograph. Tanning facilities that allow people under age 18 to use a tanning device could be fined up to $250 per violation.

Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, said she voted for the measure because it will save lives.

"I know it's going to make a huge difference in saving young people's lives from melanoma," she said of the cancer associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight or tanning lamps and beds.

California, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Vermont and Oregon ban the use of tanning beds for all minors under 18, and at least 33 states and the District of Columbia regulate the use of tanning facilities by minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.