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One town turns off tanning

Skin damage feared for teens

Published: Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012 1:47 p.m. CDT

We step to the podium today to offer a lecture against unnecessary tanning, joining a chorus of skin doctors who have long preached about the ill affects of the sun (and faux sun), the lesions that can develop, the skin melanomas that can be deadly.

And, we watch with interest the developments in the nearby city of Springfield, which has become the latest in our country to rein in young people who are trying to do more with their skin than their skin allows.

Springfield has passed a ban on minors using commercial tanning beds. Come Jan. 1, it will be illegal for them to turn on the roasting button if they are younger than 18.

What adults want to do with their own bodies is largely a matter of their own responsibility. But what they do with children’s bodies is another subject entirely.

Most skin cancer is triggered by the amount of sun a body gets in its earliest years. All that “beauty lounging” at the pool when you’re a teenager can make you a leathery wisp when you hit 60. If you live that long.

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