HB611 HD1 CD1, a measure to protect the health of minors by making it unlawful for tanning facilities to allow individuals under age 18 to use tanning equipment utilizing electromagnetic radiation, was signed into law by Governor Neil Abercrombie. The law will allow the Department of Health to impose fines of up to $250 for a first violation and $500 for subsequent violations.
“Young people are especially susceptible to the risk of skin cancer from ultraviolet radiation,” said Representative Gregg Takayama (Pearl City, Waimalu, Pacific Palisades), who introduced the bill. “The use of indoor tanning devices are directly linked to skin cancer. Studies show indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma that those who do not tan indoors.”
“This bill protects minors by preventing them from using indoor tanning equipment until they reach an age when they are better able to weigh the benefits and dangers of the practice,” said Representative Della Au Belatti (Makiki, Tantalus, Papakolea, McCully, Pawaa, Manoa), House Health Committee Chair.
“Many people don’t know that tanning via artificial ultraviolet light delivers 10-15 times higher the radiation than the mid-day sun” noted Senator Roz Baker (South and West Maui) who introduced similar legislation in the Senate. “I’m delighted to see this bill become law because it will help save lives,” she concluded.
Senator Baker is also immediate past chair of the Hawaii Pacific Board of the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society has made this legislation a priority nationwide, and Hawaii is the tenth state to enact such a law.