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Alderman Wants To Ban Tanning Beds For Anyone Under 18

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The tan mom who had the world abuzz has tanning front and center again. A Chicago alderman has proposed a ban on tanning for anyone under 18 in the city.

CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports Patricia Krentcil’s arrest in New Jersey for allegedly allowing her 5-year-old daughter to get in a tanning bed with her has inspired a potential ban on tanning for minors in Chicago.

Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th) introduced the proposed ordinance at Wednesday’s City Council meeting.

“When I saw this news story about New Jersey on the news, I was like, we really have to do something,” Silverstein said. “We have laws against selling cigarettes to minors, because it causes cancer, and tanning in the tanning beds causes cancer.”

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Krentcil, who once lived in northwest suburban Cary, is accused of allowing her daughter to get into a tanning bed. Teachers at her daughter’s school called authorities when the girl showed up to school with a sunburn and said her mother let her get in a tanning bed.

Krentcil has vehemently denied the allegations.

“There’s no room, A,” she said. “B, I would never permit it. C, it didn’t happen,” she said.

Silverstein said when she saw reports of Krentcil’s arrest, “I couldn’t believe it, and I just said this has to stop.”

Paola Trentadue, manager of an L.A. Tan salon, said she thinks the tanning industry is unfairly under attack.

“It sends a negative message about indoor tanning,” she said.

Hundreds flock to Trentadue’s salon every day. She said there’s enough regulation of indoor tanning already.

State law requires eye protection while in a tanning bed, and anyone who uses one must sign a liability waiver first. There’s even a 10 percent federal tanning tax.

In Illinois, teens already need their parents’ permission to use a tanning bed, and no one under the age of 14 can’t use a tanning bed.

Trentadue said it should stay that way.

“A parent should be able to make the decision whether or not their children should be able to tan,” she said, although she said that doesn’t include Krentcil.

Alderman Silverstein says she’s thought about proposing such an ordinance for some time – and now is the right time. A similar proposal at the state level has stalled.

“I felt like it was really important that we have to step up and protect our children,” she said.

The proposal would have violators fined up to $250.

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