They Lobby for Government Protection Even though The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an affiliate of the World Health Organization, includes the UV radiation from tanning beds as one of the most dangerous cancer-causing substances (it's right up there with cigarettes and plutonium), there is no federal regulation banning children under the age of 18 from using the beds. Some states, including California and Illinois have recently banned indoor tanning for children under 18. Other states require written parental consent for children between the ages of 14 and 18 to tan, but Carrillo says even that isn't highly enforced.
So why can children under 18 tan? "Part of the problem in this country is that politics is driven by dollars, and the tanning parlor industry has deep pockets to contribute to legislators who vote against bills that would ban minors," says Dr. Bank. There is a powerful lobby out there that has a monetary interest in letting children expose themselves to this extremely dangerous substance.
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