Peacock Tales • Summer 2014

Tanning Bed Legislation

By Douglas R. Nolin

If you are the owner of a tanning salon, you need to be aware of Pennsylvania legislation that went into effect on May 6, 2014. If you are a person who likes to tan in a tanning salon you may experience changes in your favorite tanning salon as a result of that legislation. If you are under the age of 16, you will find that you are no longer allowed to use your favorite tanning salon.

The new legislation, most of which goes into effect on July 5, 2014, applies to any business that charges a fee for use of tanning beds, or any club or spa that provides a tanning bed as part of its membership benefits. The new law does not apply to tanning beds that are strictly for personal use or for health care by a licensed health care professional. The law also does not apply to spray on or “sunless” tans. 

For those businesses to which the law applies, there is now a requirement of a certificate of registration, which carries with it an annual fee of $150.00 or $300.00, depending on the size of the operation. In addition, the business will be required to have one or more trained operators, who are familiar with federal regulations regarding tanning beds, proper procedures for use of tanning beds, use of protective eye wear, emergency procedures, and the “Fitzpatrick Scale” which classifies skin types into six different categories. The law requires that one of these trained operators be present at all times while the tanning beds are being used.

The tanning salon will also be obligated to post warning signs with some very specific information about tanning bed safety. Similarly, customers will be required to sign written warning statements before first using a tanning bed. Records must be kept on each customer, showing total number of tanning visits, date, time and duration of each visit.

Finally, no one under the age of 16 is permitted to use a commercial tanning facility. With the written authorization from a parent or legal guardian a 17 year old may be permitted to tan in a commercial tanning facility. 

All of these requirements go into effect on July 5, 2014, sixty days after the legislation was signed by Governor Corbett. The Pennsylvania Department of Health will begin inspections of tanning facilities two years from the date the legislation was signed.

If you operate a tanning facility and would like to know more about how this legislation impacts you, please feel free to contact Peacock Keller.

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