Transcripts of full meetings of the council.

Mr. President, members of the Council, my name is Kelly Andrews. I live in Fishtown, 610 Gaul Street, and I am a health initiatives representative for the American Cancer Society here in the City.

Today I'm speaking on behalf of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, also known as ACS CAN. ACS CAN is the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society. With me is Diane Phillips, Senior Director for Policy at ACS CAN.

We appreciate the actions taken by City Councilman William Greenlee and the Committee on Public Health and Human Services in proposing Bill 130057. At this time, we are asking you to consider tabling the bill for further consideration.

Regulating indoor tanning beds is an important health and safety issue. However, we cannot support the bill as currently drafted because it does not fully protect minors under the age of 18 by preventing indoor tanning bed use. Parental consent is not an effective or reliable barrier to indoor tanning. Parents who do not understand the serious risk posed by indoor tanning beds and who allow their teens to use them will unknowingly put their children in harm's way.

The science is clear. Tanning bed use is a risk factor for skin cancer, including deadly melanoma, a type of skin cancer than can be fatal.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified indoor tanning beds as Group 1, the highest level of cancer risk. Minors under age 18 are especially at risk for the damage associated with overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as that found in tanning beds, because their skin cells are dividing and changing more rapidly than those of adults.

In fact, six different national and international organizations, including the World Health Organization and the National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, have all issued reports on the adverse health effects associated with the use of indoor tanning facilities and have recommended that minors under the age of 18 not use them.

We are all aware of the "tan mom" incident took place in New Jersey last year, but I have another story. Last month, our staff met with Pennsylvania parents who have in the past year lost their beautiful 28-year-old daughter to melanoma. Jen had started using tanning beds in high school. With deep regret, her father acknowledged, We did not think using a tanning bed was a good idea, but we did not think that it could kill her. You can help Philadelphia parents and protect our young people by passing a stronger bill.

May is the month for high school proms. Young people are getting ready for the big event by getting the right clothes and, unfortunately for many, getting a tan. They and their parents remain unaware that the incidence of melanoma is increasing rapidly and adult -- in children and adults. Melanoma is now the second most common form of cancer for individuals age 15 to 29.

In Philadelphia, minors cannot purchase tobacco products or alcohol. We are asking for consistent health policy. The only way to fully protect teens is to prevent minors from using tanning beds altogether. We hope you will considering strengthening this important bill, and please vote to table Bill 130057 for further consideration.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak today, and we would be happy to answer any questions.

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