New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is setting his sights on tanning salons in perhaps his last health crusade before the November election, the New York Post reported.
In the past Bloomberg has targeted sugary soda, salt, cigarettes, and trans fat, now he’s cracking down on UV radiation.
Bloomberg plans to warn customers at city tanning salons of the dangers of skin cancer from overexposure to UV rays. For the first time, people who work in salons will have to undergo training to operate UV equipment.
The initiative would also require the health department to inspect tanning salons, tanning beds and timers at least once every two years.
Health officials suspect a number of tanning salons are operating without permits and the measure would crack down on unlicensed operators.
“There is no doubt that tanning increases the risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer,” said Daniel Kass, NYC deputy health commissioner for environmental health. “We want to make sure kids are not using these salons.”
Nonmelanoma skin cancer is the most common form of cancer, according to The National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Melanoma skin cancer has an overall 5-year survival rate of 91 percent. About 84% of melanomas are diagnosed at a localized stage, which has a 98 percent survival rate.
Kass told The Post that 100 New Yorkers died from skin cancer in 2012.
Bloomberg’s proposal will be submitted to the Board of Health Tuesday. The Post expects the board, all appointed by Bloomberg, to pass the measure.