The number and popularity of tanning facilities has grown rapidly throughout New Jersey. Various physical complications can arise from frequent and unsupervised use of these tanning facilities due to overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation that can cause severe sunburn and eye injury, including cataracts and corneal damage. Repeated exposure to UV light in tanning facilities can also cause premature aging of the skin and skin cancers. Overexposure to UV radiation may also suppress proper functioning of the body’s immune system and the skin’s natural defenses, increasing sensitivity to sunlight, diminishing the effects of immunizations or causing reactions to certain medications.
On January 20, 2009, new regulations went into effect that established minimum safety and sanitation standards for the operation of tanning facilities in order to protect the health and safety of consumers that patronize these businesses. All tanning facilities are now required to register with the New Jersey Department of Health. Consumer Health personnel will be performing annual inspections at tanning facilities.
The new rules cover areas such as equipment, employee training, and record keeping. Specific rules that address the issue of minors are being emphasized to owners and operators. Minors under 14 years of age are now prohibited from using a sunlamp product in any facility. Minors between the ages or 14-18 must have written authorization from a parent or guardian/for more information regarding this program, please contact he NJDOH at 609-826-4935 or the Ocean County Health Department. You may also read the regulations here.