Tanning beds in Chicago salons soon will be off limits to people younger than 18.
The City Council today overwhelmingly voted in favor of the tan parlor ban in a move the sponsoring alderman said is aimed at protecting children from cancer.
Ald. Debra Silverstein, 50th, invited two women she said contracted skin cancer from tanning facilities to stand in City Council chambers before the council voted.
"To my colleagues here in City Council, these are just two of the many people who suffer from cancer caused by the terrible effects of tanning beds," Silverstein said.
Silverstein has said she was inspired to act in part by recent media coverage of a darkly tanned New Jersey woman who has been defending herself against charges that she took her 5-year-old daughter to a tanning salon.
Three aldermen --- Anthony Beale, 9th; Roberto Maldonado, 26; and Brendan Reilly, 42nd --- voted against the stricter rules.
Maldonado said it's up to parents to decide what's best. "Right now there is a requirement of parental consent, and I think that's OK for me as a parent," he said.
Reilly added: "I don't believe the city needs to micromanage people's lives. There's a role for parents, and they need to parent."
State law bans those under 14 from using tanning beds at salons. Mayor Rahm Emanuel said it was appropriate to give parents additional help.
“Alderman Silverstein drew the analogy between cigarettes and tanning, in the sense both obviously have implications to health and cancer," Emanuel said at a news conference after the City Council meeting. "We have restrictions as it relates to teenagers on smoking. This ordinance on tanning reflects a strategy as it relates to protecting our teenagers, as they have to make decisions.
The ban does not prevent minors from getting spray tans or using other tanning products or equipment that do not irradiate the skin.
A tanning facility that allows someone younger than 18 to use banned tanning equipment will face a fine of $100 to $250. The ban will be enforced by the city Public Health Department.
The ban will take effect 10 days after today's vote is officially published, sometime in the next few weeks.
As with many ordinances approved by the council, enforcement will be key.