Texas Legislature Approves Raising Tanning Age to 18

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Minors wanting to visit tanning salons could soon be turned away with new legislation that would prevent people under 18 from artificially tanning.

News 3 looked into why the changes are being debated in Austin.

Having a bronze body is something many young people seek in Aggieland.

But who can tan could soon change.

Monday the Texas House voted to raise the legal tanning age from 16 and half with parents consent to 18.

"It's not going to affect us at. All of our people who come here are 18 or over," said Michele Harris.

She owns Hypnotik Salon and Tan and thinks younger people should wait.

"Yes we do spray tan as well. It's hand-held and it lasts five or seven days and it's better for the 16 years-old. I would recommend that before putting them in the tanning bed," she said.

While the tanning industry opposes the changes, several local businesses we spoke with say they really aren't that worried. They say that not than many people under age are getting tans in B/CS.

Tiki Tan's owner tells us minors make up less than one percent of their business and they make a point not to market or target high school-aged people.

Dr. Kia Parsi is a Family Physician with Burleson St. Joseph Family Medicine and says too much early exposure to the sun and UV lights can cause long term problems.

"One study showed that if you tanned once per year in your high school or college years that increases your risk of basal cell carcinoma by 10 percent. Now if you go six times per year that increases your risk 75 percent," said Dr. Parsi.

"It kind of just depends. I would like to choose for my kid but it is what it is," said Michele Harris.

The final decision will now be made by Governor Rick Perry.

Tuesday afternoon, the final procedural vote on the bill was approved by the Texas House.