ALBANY, N.Y., July 17 (UPI) -- New York's Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, signed a law prohibiting the use of indoor tanning devices by children age 17 and under.
The law, signed Monday, also requires New York teens ages 17-18 to obtain parental consent before using indoor tanning.
"Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can be extremely harmful, particularly for younger people, and this new law will help protect teenagers from the heightened risk of skin cancer that can come from using indoor tanning devices," Cuomo said in a statement. "This legislation recognizes that many tanning salons are small businesses facing economic challenges, but, protecting our children must always be our first priority."
The law goes into effect in 30 days.
Bill sponsor Sen. Charles J. Fuschillo, a Republican, said research has shown that indoor UV tanning can be potentially dangerous; it greatly increases the risk of developing skin cancer and exposes skin to UV radiation that is far more intense than what the sun produces.
"I have been an ocean lifeguard for more than 50 years, and I am keenly aware of the harmful effects of the sun's UV rays and the rising rates of -- often preventable -- skin cancer," said Harvey Weisenberg, a Democratic member of the Assembly. "Indoor tanning at an early age is, unfortunately, one of those things that people live to regret. I thank the governor for taking this important step to prevent cancer."