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Sarlo Urges Caution For Teen Tanners

TRENTON – Senator Paul A. Sarlo, a Senate sponsor of the bill to restrict the use of tanning salons by teenagers, today said its enactment will help fight skin cancer for generations to come.

“Like smoking in earlier generations, young people didn’t really know the cancer-causing dangers of over-exposure to ultraviolet rays until fairly recently,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic. “With the medical evidence now convincing, we need this legislation to back up our warnings to young people who sometimes believe they are immune to danger.”

The bill, A-2936/S-1225, was approved by the Senate 35-0 and now goes to the Governor for enactment.

“This legislation is a tribute to the message carried out by a very good man, Mike Geltrude, of Nutley, who, after being diagnosed with malignant melanoma, spent the final 14 months of his life speaking out about the dangers of skin cancer,” Senator Sarlo said.

Its provisions would prohibit minors under 14 from using tanning facilities and require those between 14 and 18 to receive written permission from their parents or guardians.

Senator Sarlo noted that the American Academy of Dermatology has determined that children are more likely than adults to develop skin cancer from using tanning facilities because their skin cells are still developing.

Moreover, the Dartmouth Medical School found that people using tanning facilities had 2.5 times the risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times the risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, two of the most common forms of skin cancer, Senator Sarlo noted.

Penalties under the bill would be a fine of $100 for a first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses.

The Geltrude Family has carried out Mike Geltrude’s wishes and has continued the Mike Geltrude Foundation, raising awareness of the dangers of melanoma and funds for research, Senator Sarlo said.

Dan Geltrude, Mike Geltrude’s son, was on hand in the Senate to witness the unanimous approval of the bill which now awaits enactment by the Governor.