Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Text of the tanning regulation

The text of the tanning ban (.pdf) before the Howard County Board of Health is posted online. If this regulation really is about preventing cancer in minors (a rather unnecessary goal so long as parents are raising minors and not the health department), it seems bizarre that the tanning regulation speaks to the toilet paper and soap dispenser in the restroom, as well as the ratio of employees to tanning beds. One would think that this regulation is a health department power trip more so than an attempt to prevent minors from getting cancer. This regulation contains more clauses to allow the Health Officer to lord over tanning salons than clauses to meaningfully protect teens.

Also keep in mind that Health Officer Peter Bielenson thinks that teens are capable of making the right decisions about abortion even without parental guidance, but Bielenson believes that neither teens or their parents are capable of making the healthy decisions about tanning beds.

The only thing this regulation will succeed in doing is pushing tanning salons and teen tanning patrons to neighboring counties. The irony in all of this is that the odds of a teen getting killed while driving to a tanning salon in Carroll, Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Prince George's or Montgomery County is probably much greater than the odds they would get cancer from a tanning bed.