September 2, 2014

Elyria
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Tanning may lose its glow with bill

Tammy Goeller saw the green at the end of the ultraviolet rainbow, but a potential ban on teenage tanning could rein in some of her profits.
Goeller opened Catchin’ Some Rays with her husband, Ben Goeller, behind the couple’s Lake Avenue home in Elyria eight years ago after seeing another local business take off during the sun-deprived periods in Ohio.
“I was the mastermind behind it,” she said. “I took my husband to a salon in North Ridgeville, and when he saw the line out the door, we knew we had to do it.”
The Elyria business has grown to serve more than 5,700 clients with its 19 tanning beds, but a new Ohio bill calling for teenagers to be banned from using commercial tanning beds without a doctor’s permission could chop off at least 30 percent of the Goellers’ clientele, she said.
“It’s bogus,” Ben Goeller said. “If you do it properly, indoor tanning is about as safe as you can get.”
The Ohio bill would prohibit anyone younger than 18 from using a commercial tanning bed without a doctor’s prescription for ultraviolet radiation treatments.
Ohio law currently requires minors to have parental permission before using a tanning bed.
The proposed bill is unfair to teens and their parents, said Erica Jenkins, 20, of Elyria.
“My mom used to tan and signed the form to let me do it when I was 16,” she said. “It should be left up to the parents to decide whether or not their kids can do it.”
Of Catchin’ Some Rays’ 5,784 clients, most are ages 18 to 24. Those ages 15 to 17 make up the second smallest bracket of clients, behind only those who are ages 60 and older.
Those numbers are similar to the clientele at Suntastic Tanning in Avon Lake, where a manager who wanted to remain unnamed said the business doesn’t see too many tanners younger than 18.
Although her business is maintained by the tanning, the 53-year-old who has tanned all her life said she thought the ban could be a good thing.
“If I would’ve known that the (ultraviolet) light wasn’t good for you, I wouldn’t have done it as frequently,” she said. “I think a law would help kids realize that.”
Contact Stephen Szucs at 329-7129 or sszucs@chroniclet.com.