TRENTON, NJ (PIX11)—The issue of minors and tanning was thrust into the spotlight last week, ever since Patricia Krentcil was accused of taking her 5 year old daughter into a tanning booths. Now health care advocates are calling for New Jersey lawmakers to act and create stricter regulations when it comes to indoor tanning.
An emotional 27 year old woman, Alyson Dougherty, spoke out during a press conference on Monday and spoke of her fight against one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer, melanoma.
"I went tanning and I got melanoma. I`m a stage three melanoma survivor. As a 21 year old I was thinking am I going to die. It was the result of poor choices. Choices that I shouldn't have been given the opportunity to make," said Dougherty.
Dougherty was only a Junior at Northeastern University when she said her doctors found an alarming spot, about the size of a quarter on her left upper thigh.
Dougherty's choice to tan, sometimes multiple times a week at tanning salons, was one she began making at the age of only 16. She said even though her parents didn't approve, she did it anyway. After all, there were no lawn to stop Dougherty then and no laws to stop anyone under 18 now. Currently, there is a 2006 law in the books, which requires 14- to 17-year-olds to get written permission from their parents before tanning. However, health care advocates now say they want a law in the books banning anyone under 18 from tanning.
"No one has to be in an indoor tanning facility. We think it`s dangerous and we think 16- and 17-year-olds should be prohibited from using indoor tanning facilities," said Blair Horner of the American Cancer Society.