Local Tanning Salon Workers Fighting Bill That Would Prevent Minors From Tanning

After Doctors Recommend Law Change, Tanning Salons Are Petitioning Against It

(c) AP Images

by Emily Knox – (Syracuse, NY)

Hakuna Matata Tanning Salon in Syracuse is a popular tanning spot among local teens, but they may need to find another way to soak up the sun.

A policy statement published by the American Academy of Pediatrics on Monday recommended that federal, state, and local governments ban teens under 18 from going to tanning salons. New York is one of the states considering passing such a law.

The possibility of the bill is already being protested. Hakuna Matata is just one of many tanning salons participating in a petition started by the Indoor Tanning Association.

“We’ve been asking customers to sign it because it is an issue of rights,” said manager Rachel Aragona. “If a parent is okay with their child getting a tan, why stop them?”

But the problem, workers say, is not just people’s rights and losing business. Sales Associate Ashley Contini says people actually use tanning to treat certain skin conditions.

“One woman brought her kid here the other day because he had a lot of acne on his face and tanning actually helps to clear it up.” Another worker said the salon has a lot of customers who are sent there by dermitologists to treat Psoriasis.

“If someone under 18 has that, then we’re not an option for them,” says Contini.