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Tanning salons adjust to new Illinois law

Published: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 1:00 p.m. CDT

DEKALB (AP) — Illinois tanning salon owners have adapted to a law banning customers under 18 from tanning beds since the new policy was implemented about four months ago.

Spring is often a busy season for the salons as clients, particularly young women, prepare for proms and other spring dances, The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle reported (http://bit.ly/1qDNHWz ).

Mary Saur, an office manager at Tropic Tan in Genoa, said young clients have been disappointed they can't use the tanning beds.

"We have had a lot of calls about spray tanning, which is still allowed," Saur said.

Illinois' law went into effect in January and made the state one of only six in the country to ban teens from using equipment that emits ultraviolet radiation, including sun lamps and tanning booths. Some states have less restrictive laws for younger teens and 18 others have no statewide restrictions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The Illinois law doesn't apply to devices used in private homes, phototherapy devices used by physicians or spray tans.

The state previously banned tanning by anyone younger than 14 but had allowed minors between 14 and 17 to tan with parental permission. Teen tanning was banned altogether in Chicago in 2012 and in Springfield the following year. Supporters of the new law say it levels the playing field for salons across the state.

Teresa Lynch, owner of Dynamic Tanning, said she opposed the law and has always required parents to sign a consent form. Still, she's working with staff follow the new rules.

"I'm adamant in training my staff," Lynch said. "We've always asked customers' ages. We've caught some trying to slip in, but I won't put myself in a bad position."

Salons that violate the rules can be fined $250.

Lynch said she expects an increasing number of calls about spray tans as the spring seas approaches.


Information from: The Daily Chronicle, http://www.daily-chronicle.com

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