Looks Can Kill: The Dark Side of Indoor Tanning and What States Need to do to Help Protect Young Adults from This Deadly 'Glow

Author:Courtney M. Brokloff
Position:J.D. Candidate, The University of Iowa College of Law, 2018; B.B.A., The University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, 2015
Pages:271-301
SUMMARY

This Note addresses tanning bed regulations. There is mounting evidence regarding the severe consequences indoor tanning can have on an individual's health, some of which are fatal. This Note argues that in order to combat these negative health consequences, states need to step in by implementing more aggressive tanning bed regulations. This Note proposes a ban on individuals under the age of 21... (see full summary)

 
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271
Looks Can Kill: The Dark Side of Indoor
Tanning and What States Need to do to
Help Protect Young Adults from This
Deadly “Glow”
Courtney M. Brokloff *
ABSTRACT: This Note addresses tanning bed regulations. There is
mounting evidence regarding the severe consequences indoor tanning can
have on an individual’s health, some of which are fatal. This Note argues
that in order to combat these negative health consequences, states need to step
in by implementing more aggressive tanning bed regulations. This Note
proposes a ban on individuals under the age of 21 from using tanning beds
due to the unique circumstances surrounding this age group. Although
banning minors under the age of 18 is sufficient for some activities, it is not
sufficient for tanning beds. This is due in part to the cumulative deleterious
effect of tanning, the social pressures that occur particularly during this age
range, and the fact that the brain is not yet fully developed to understand the
long-term risks of tanning, which are especially severe given that some of these
risks are increased when first exposure occurs at a young age.
I. INTRODUCTION ............................................................................. 273
II. EVOLVING VIEWS OF BEAUTY AND INDOOR TANNING, AND
THEIR RESPECTIVE REGULATION CHANGES IN RESPONSE ............ 274
A. A NEW CONCEPTION OF BEAUTY AND HEALTH .......................... 274
B. EVOLVING VIEWS OF ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT AND THE
INTRODUCTION OF TANNING BEDS ........................................... 276
C. HOW INDOOR TANNING DEVICES WORK AND THEIR NATURAL
CONSEQUENCES ....................................................................... 277
D. PERVASIVENESS OF TANNING NATIONWIDE ................................ 278
E. PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES DEBUNK MYTHS ABOUT INDOOR
TANNING ................................................................................ 278
F. EVOLUTION OF REGULATIONS .................................................. 280
*
J.D. Candidate, The University of Iowa College of Law, 2018; B.B.A., The University of
Iowa Tippie College of Business, 2015.
272 IOWA LAW REVIEW [Vol. 103:271
1. The FDA’s Initial Classification .................................... 281
2. The FDA’s Reclassification ........................................... 281
3. State Regulations ........................................................... 282
4. Regulations in Other Countries ................................... 284
III. PROBLEMS REGARDING INDOOR TANNING ................................... 284
A. OVERALL HARM CAUSED BY TANNING BEDS ............................. 284
B. LACK OF EDUCATION? ............................................................. 287
C. THE STRENGTH OF SOCIAL NORMS ........................................... 288
D. POTENTIAL FOR ADDICTION ..................................................... 288
E. ECONOMIC COSTS .................................................................... 290
F. LACK OF ADHERENCE TO FDA RECOMMENDATIONS .................. 290
G. PROBLEMS PERTAINING SPECIFICALLY TO MINORS .................... 291
1. Problems Specific to Engaging in Indoor Tanning
Early in Life ................................................................... 291
2. Minors’ Inability to Make Informed Decisions:
Inability to Weigh Instant Gratification Against
Long-Term Consequences ............................................ 291
3. Peer Pressure ................................................................. 292
IV. PROPOSED RESOLUTION: A BAN ON INDIVIDUALS UNDER 21
AND ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS ..................................................... 292
A. PROPOSAL: A BAN ON INDIVIDUALS UNDER 21 .......................... 292
1. Brain Development ....................................................... 293
2. Social Pressure ............................................................... 293
3. Restricting Early Access to Help Prevent
Cumulative Damage ...................................................... 293
4. Feasibility ....................................................................... 295
B. ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS ........................................................ 295
1. A Complete Ban is Not Politically Feasible ................. 296
2. Requiring Parental Consent is Too Ineffective ........... 296
3. Implementing a Tanning Tax Can Be Used in
Combination with Other Solutions But is
Ineffective Alone ........................................................... 297
4. Improving Education and Amending Warning
Labels in Combination with Other Solutions ............. 298
5. Banning Minors (Under the Age of 18): Effective,
But May Not Be Enough ............................................... 299
V. CONCLUSION ................................................................................ 301

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