House rejects measure on tanning bed regulation

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- When Dot Guccione's pale teen-age children wanted to spend time under ultraviolet rays at a tanning booth, the mother of five worried.

Guccione, a nurse, had heard plenty of horror stories from skin cancer patients who blamed their disease on prolonged tanning. So the St. Louis County woman led an effort to impose state regulations on the tanning bed industry.

Her idea was soundly rejected Tuesday by House members, some of whom made light of the bill that would have required teen-agers to have written parental consent to use tanning beds.

The bill failed by an announced first-round vote of 89-34.

Under the proposal sponsored by Guccione's church friend, Rep. David Reynolds, adult tanners would have had to sign a statement saying they understood the dangers of ultraviolet radiation. Tanning bed operators would have been licensed by the state.

"There is an incredible increase of skin cancer and much of it is attributed to tanning beds and misuse," said Reynolds, D-Florissant. "This is just an effort for those ... people using equipment to know the danger."

Opponents said the legislation was unnecessary.

Rep. Charlie Shields, R-St. Joseph, jokingly proposed a failed amendment to add language stating: "Tanning may be bad for you, but it will improve your social life."

Rep. Pat Naeger, R-Perryville, said the proposed law would have been hard to regulate.

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