The tanning salon is now closed to minors, under a measure approved by the Legislature and taking effect this month, 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports.


  Lawmakers made Texas the sixth state to ban minors from using tanning beds, even with their parents' permission.


  Dr. Jeffrey Gershenwald, a skin cancer specialist at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, tells 1200 WOAI news doctors are now convince that artificial UV is associated with cancer.


  "To put it in perspective, artificial UV is now just as dangerous as plutonium and tobacco smoke," Dr. Gershenwald said.


  Texas, like many other states, has been gradually cracking down on the use of tanning facilities by minors for years, restricting the number of hours a young person could spend inside a tanning salon, requiring parental permission, and limiting the age of tanners.  While the measure bans minors from tanning facilities, the law does not affect their use by adults.


  "Texas is the fifth of now six states which have adopted this legislature," Dr. Gershenwald said.  "California was the first state about two years ago."


  He says the use of tanning salons increase a teenager's risk of developing melanoma, the most common type of skin cancer, by 85%.