North Carolina bans tanning for children under 14 and requires parental consent for those under 18.
Some wish to further regulate the practice, including UNC junior Alana Zeitany, who petitioned the Chapel Hill Town Council to consider prohibiting free tanning beds at Chapel Hill apartments.
Zeitany’s petition has sparked a conversation about tanning in the community.
Cindy Short, property manager of Shortbread Lofts said Shortbread is certified as a tanning facility by North Carolina and that they highly regulate their accommodations.
Before using the beds, residents fill out a skin-typing questionnaire and sign a consumer statement saying they understand the health risks, Short said.
Then, a sign-in sheet is created to log how often a resident uses the beds. Residents have to be buzzed into the tanning beds by an employee and show that they have protective eyewear.
“As with the many other adult decisions we expect our residents to make, they can decide this,” Short said. “Here at Shortbread, we try to treat our residents as the adults we expect them to be, so we let them make their own decisions about the health risks.”
Matthew Howard, a professor for the UNC School of Social Work, applauded Zeitany’s efforts to draw attention to an important public health issue.