West Virginia passed a new law that regulates tanning salons throughout the state in April. That law goes into effect on July 12.
In short, the new law sets age requirements on who can tan.
The law prohibits tanning salons from offering services to anyone under the age of 14, and requires parental consent for anyone between the ages of 14 and 17.
Conversation about age requirements for tanning became a big talker when a New Jersey mom was hit with charges for supposedly bringing her 5-year-old daughter with her in the tanning booth.
Marilyn Moses owns Body Works Tanning Salon in Clarksburg. She said young girls do come in wishing to tan, but she has been enforcing her own protocol for children under the age of 16 ever since she opened seven years ago.
"The youngest that has come in here has been 12. They were cheerleaders or in some kind of dance recital, and the mothers wanted them to have some kind of color for the recital. I usually would let them, as long as they had parent consent, and they could only come in two times a week, 10 minutes at a time," Moses said.
The new law will prohibit even that, but Moses said she does not believe this will harm her business. Moses goes even further in ensuring no one underage gets into a tanning bed. She requires that all children remain in the waiting area, and not in the bed rooms, while adults tan.
She said most of her clients are well above the minimum age requirements. For the most part, Moses agrees with the new legislation. However, she said she wishes the government would do more research.
"They are just trying to protect people, and people should be educated. But also feel our government should be more educated on it as well, it's no more harmful than being out in the sun. If you watch how many minutes you are laying out in the sun or in a bed, you are monitoring how much they are getting and it is safer for them to be in a bed than out in the sun," Moses said.
In fact, Moses thinks lawmakers should consider an additional regulation, for a problem she sees way too much of.
"People that go from one tanning salon to another tanning salon. I know there are people out there that do it. I've seen it," Moses said.
Moses encouraged anyone who tans to use the proper lotions, take vitamins, and stay hydrated. She said it is also important that tanners talk to professionals about proper timing and repetition before getting in the bed.