Health and Family Services Cabinet
Public Health Works to Improve Safety of Tanning Beds and Booths
New Law Requires Business Registration, Parental Consent for Minors
With events like spring break and prom just a few months away, many young people start to prepare by hitting the tanning bed.
This tanning season, tanning business owners need to be aware of new health regulations designed to protect the public, particularly young people, who frequently use tanning beds and booths. These laws, amended by the Kentucky legislature in fall 2007, require that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) and local health departments provide monitoring and oversight of tanning facilities.
“Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays – which you are exposed to in a tanning bed – is hazardous to your health and can lead to skin damage and, in some cases, skin cancer,” said William Hacker, M.D., public health commissioner and acting undersecretary for health at CHFS. “Many times, people don’t realize the dangers of tanning bed use and are unknowingly putting themselves at risk. The changes made to state law regulating tanning facilities were designed to protect the public and inform them about the dangers of tanning.”
State law now requires parental consent for children and teenagers and directs that tanning establishments offer proper warnings, eye protection and documentation of use. The regulations also require that people younger than 14 years old be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian when using a tanning bed. Teenagers older than 14 do not have to have a guardian present to use the tanning bed; however, written parental consent is required for those older than 14 but younger than 18.
These signed consent forms are to be kept on file in the establishment. The facility must provide a written statement to the consumer that outlines the warnings associated with use of tanning devices.
Sample forms can be found at: http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/info/phps/food. Forms are also available at your local health department.
In addition, tanning business owners or operators must register with their local health department. The mandated registration fee is $20 per establishment and will be valid for one calendar year. Permit fees for facilities are valid from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 of each calendar year.
“These new measures were created to protect the public by providing adequate warnings about tanning beds and booths,” said Hacker. “The goal is to prevent overuse of tanning facilities and overexposure to potentially dangerous UV radiation.”
For more information or questions, business owners may contact their local health department or the Department for Public Health’s Food Safety Branch at (502) 564-7181.
*To listen to Christine Atkinson, manager of the Food Safety Branch, talk about these recent changes to state law go to: