Roger Yelvington has owned Sunbright Tanning Salon in Manassas Park for more than three years and is confident the service he provides isn’t dangerous to his patrons.
So he and other Virginia salon owners wonder why the Virginia Senate is occupied with creating new laws concerning the industry.
The bill also requires those 15 and older to get parental consent before using such facilities. The bill cleared the senate on a majority vote of 34-5 earlier this month.
“Does a 15-year-old girl have to get permission from her parents to get oiled up and go lay down at the beach?” Yelvington said. “(The tanning bed) is replicating what you get outside from the Sun.”
Overall Yelvington said he's fine with a teen seeking his or her parents permission to tan, but the negative connotation presented by a law requiring parental consent is what gives him pause.
“It can make people think it’s really bad for you because it’s something that requires your parent’s permission,” he said. “ … I feel pretty strongly that I’m not providing a service that is a danger to people’s health.”
Nothing has changed in the tanning industry in the last 30 years, Yelvington said.
Tanning bed supporters say it hasn’t become more dangerous, so he and others wonder why lawmakers are even spending time creating new laws concerning tanning.
“They’ve got bigger fish to fry,” Yelvington said.
His tanning salon provides all the appropriate lotions as well as recommendations for exposure times. The recommendations are based on the type of skin the client has, Yelvington said.
In the middle of Winter, a time when many people feel down and blue, tanning could be helpful in improving one's mood, he said.
“If you get it in moderation, it releases endorphins and Vitamin D,” he added.
As far as business is concerned, Sunbright tanning has been steady and has increased by about 40 percent since it opened in 2009, Yelvington said.
Business has increased this year since a tanning salon in Manassas shuttered, he added.
Meanwhile, the bill that some say could throw some shade at tanning could become a law if it passes in the Virginia House of Delegates.
What are your thoughts?