- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A proposal to bar minors from using tanning beds at salons won approval Tuesday in the Iowa Senate.

The bill, which passed 26-23, would restrict children under the age of 18 from using a tanning device at a commercial establishment.

Sen. William Dotzler, a Democrat from Waterloo, said it’s a safety precaution for young people, who may not understand the risks associated.

“We’ve got to as state legislators stand up and ban this dangerous practice that can be just as dangerous in some ways as youth smoking,” Dotzler said.

But Sen. Mark Chelgren, a Republican from Ottumwa, argued it was safer for teens to tan in licensed establishments. He also unsuccessfully sought to amend the bill to allow parents to waive the restriction.

A similar bill has received committee-level approval in the Iowa House but has not yet had a full vote. Previous attempts to enact this restriction failed in the Senate in the last two legislative sessions.

The National Conference on State Legislatures says that at least 41 states and Washington D.C. regulate teen tanning, with 11 states banning tanning devices for anyone under 18. Iowa is one of many states where lawmakers are considering enacting a ban for minors.

The earlier a person is exposed to ultraviolet radiation from indoor tanning and other sources, the greater the risk of getting melanoma and other skin cancers later in life, according to the American Cancer Society.

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