Proposed law would shut minors out of tanning beds

SALEM, Ore. - Due to the health risks, especially from cancer, some Oregon lawmakers want to ban anyone under 18 years old from using commercial tanning beds, tanning booths, or sun lamps.

Under a proposal known as House Bill 2896, the only way someone under 18 could use a tanning bed would be if they had a doctor's note. The bill was introduced on Monday.

Oregon has the fourth highest rate of death from skin cancer in the United States, according to Dr. Brian Druker at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland.

Indoor tanning increases the risk by 20 percent, Druker said in an online post that cites an 2012 study.

Katie Williams said she started using a tanning bed at age 16 while in high school. Seven years later, she had developed skin cancer.

"Luckily, I caught the melanoma in time," Williams said. "It could have killed me when I was 23.

Druker also posted that another study found that using a tanning device before age 35 increases the risk of skin cancer by 75 percent.

Druker is the director of the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU.