SIYAC takes on tanning


Members of the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council (SIYAC) are trying to pass a bill banning the use of tanning beds for all minors.

By Olivia White

As prom quickly approaches, many teenagers look to tanning beds to acquire a certain glow. However, this may be the last year that is possible.

Members of the State of Iowa Youth Advisory Council (SIYAC), a group focused on passing legislation that affects the young people of Iowa, has sponsored a tanning bill, Senate File 232, banning the use of tanning beds for all minors.

“This bill has received some backlash from teenagers that tan,” sophomore and SIYAC member Xiao Liu said. “Some say that it should be their own choice of what they do with their body; however, I completely agree with this bill because I believe that vanity should not be prioritized over health.”

“My honest opinion about the new tanning law is that it isn’t necessary,” sophomore McKenna Dencklau said. “I am 16, I should have the right to tan if I want to.”

Dencklau is not alone in these beliefs. “I believe we should have a voice if we tan or not,” sophomore Stefanie Stanstic said. “We are allowed to drive at 14 years old, and that is very dangerous as well.”

However, some tanners are not fully against this new bill. “I don’t really think the tanning bill is a bad thing,” senior and frequent tanner Sasha Amos said. “But I think that if a parent wants their child to tan before vacation or something, they should have some say.”

Members of SIYAC hope to raise more awareness for the dangers of UV exposures and ensure everyone who tans fully knows the repercussions. “Teenagers should be more aware of the consequences of using tanning beds,” Liu said.

Those who have used tanning beds are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who do not tan, according to

“Although the short term of using tanning beds may not be apparent, the long term consequences are severely detrimental to a person,” Liu said. “Furthermore, there are other methods to achieve a tan that do not come with dangers to one’s health, such as spray tanning and tanning lotion.”

Amos agrees that spray tans are a safer option and can acquire the same tan as a bed. “I love spray tans, I get them quite frequently,” she said. “It’s just as good as using a bed, and people normally can’t tell. Plus, its safer.”

For some tanners, tanning is way to boost confidence and self esteem. “Tanning makes [some] girls feel beautiful,” Dencklau said. “And it’s their choice to be tan or not.”

The tanning bill is not yet a law because the legislative session is not over. However, much progress has been made on it. It has passed the Senate and has been sent to the House, where it will be further discussed in committees.