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         August 23, 2004

Legislator Gonsalves Co-Sponsors Law to Govern the Operation of Tanning Facilities

Nassau County Legislator Norma L.Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) has filed legislation designed to warn the public to the dangers of tanning facilities. In the United States each year, approximately one million people are diagnosed with skin cancer, which makes it the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer. "The prevalence of tanning salons and parlors in Nassau County makes this legislation all the more important. The public must be made aware that this activity is not a safe alternative to the sun's harmful rays," said Legislator Gonsalves. Numerous health care organizations worldwide, including the Food and Drug Administration, (FDA), strongly discourage the use of tanning bed and sunlamps. In addition, the FDA calculates that nearly one million Americans visit tanning facilities each day.

This legislation would mandate that all facilities operating in Nassau County have operators who are sufficiently knowledgeable in the correct operation of tanning devices. They must provide sanitized protective eyewear for customers, and limit customers to the maximum exposure time in a device as recommended by the manufacturer. In addition, each facility must clearly post a warning notice outlining the dangers of using such tanning devices. These warnings must outline the possible lasting effects of tanning beds, such as skin cancer and permanent eye damage. "With these warnings posted in each facility, customers hopefully will realize the dangers of these tanning devices and make smart, healthy decisions," added Legislator Gonsalves.

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