Debra Silberstein, Chicago’s 50th Ward Alderman, introduced an ordinance to restrict tanning facility use to adults at the May 9th City Council Meeting. The ordinance would prohibit tanning facilities in the city limits from allowing minors to use the tanning beds, even with parental consent.
One step closer…..We can almost add Chicago to our small but growing list of places where teen tanning is not allowed.
Chicago City Council Teen Tanning Restriction
Debra Silberstein, Chicago’s 50th Ward Alderman, introduced an ordinance to restrict tanning facility use to adults at the May 9th City Council Meeting. The ordinance would prohibit tanning facilities in the city limits from allowing minors to use the tanning beds, even with parental consent. Currently Chicago tanning facilities are required to deny use to those less than 14 years and have in person parental consent for those 14 to 17 years. If this ordinance is passed it will be administered by the Department of Public Health and will allow for fines for infractions between $100 and $250.
At the 50th Ward website Alderman Silverstein says;
“Protecting the health of our young people is paramount.” “We regulate cigarettes being sold to minors under the age of 18 mainly because they are harmful to our youth. I do not see why this should not be extended to barring minors under the age of 18 from tanning facilities. As a mother, it is my job to protect my children. I think it is time now for the City to do its best to protect all children from the harmful effects of tanning salons.”
The proposed ordinance was sent to the City Council’s License and Consumer Protection Committee and a public hearing was held on May 30th. After hearing testimony from 2 Chicago residents who have thus far survived melanoma and from Dr. June Robinson of Northwestern University, Dr. Alix Charles of Hinsdale and Good Samaritan Hospitals; the committee unanimously supported the ordinance and it was passed back to the full City Council for the June 6th meeting for a vote.
In the Sun Times, one melanoma survivor who testified before the City Council, 24 year old Katrina Polansky, 24, is quoted:
“If I wasn’t able to buy cigarettes or get a tattoo or make any other adult decision when I was 15, why was I able to do something so harmful to my body? I was too young to make this decision. I wanted to fit in and tan just like all the other girls. Their parents co-signed for them, so my mom thought it was OK to do it, too ….We should not have any mothers or fathers have to make that decision.”
To read the full article go to http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/12867355-418/panel-bans-minors-from-tanning-salons-after-cancer-victims-pleas.html 
“The Indoor Tanning Association believes that the decision regarding whether or not a teen is allowed to suntan is a decision for parents, not government,” Executive Director John Overstreet, ITA.
To see the full article go to http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-05-30/news/chi-chicago-aldermen-want-to-ban-teens-from-tanning-salons-20120530_1_tanning-beds-skin-cancer-and-tanning-tanning-businesses 
Also found in the above Chicago Tribune article is the part of the testimony of 50 year old melanoma survivor, Donna Moncivaiz:
“My (two) daughters and I all used tanning beds and I never really thought a thing of it until I was diagnosed last summer.” She gave permission for her daughters to tan when they were “15 or 16. . . . . I thought it was safe, and clearly it wasn’t.” One of her daughters was recently found to have an early stage melanoma.
DNA has been actively supporting this restriction and is part of the coalition that has signed on in support of this ordinance.
May 23, 2012
A growing coalition supports the proposal to ban minors from Chicago tanning facilities
AIM at Melanoma
The American Cancer Society
American Academy of Dermatology
American Association for Health Education
American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association
Chicago Department of Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair, MD
Dermatology Nurses’ Association
Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation
Illinois Dermatological Society
Melanoma International Foundation
National Council for Skin Cancer Prevention
Prevent Cancer Foundation
Skin of Steel
Society for Pediatric Dermatology
Urgent! Your help is needed. If you live in Chicago or know someone that does...
We have heard from our colleague at Aim at Melanoma that the Indoor tanning Association (ITA) is mounting a last minute drive to delay or suppress this ordinance. Chicago residents, please send a letter of support to your alderman urging him/her to support the teen tan ban. Locate your alderman here: https://webapps.cityofchicago.org/StickerOnlineWeb/pageflows/wardLookUp/WardLookUpController.jpf 
If you know someone who is a Chicago resident persuade them to act quickly. A sample letter created by AIM can be found here . Email now!
HPAC is heartened by the progress being made in protecting children from UV radiation and the increased risk of skin cancer. We will continue to work on this and encourage our members to speak up!