Revised Ohio Tanning Regulations Finalized

Rick Mattoon Comments
Posted : 02/01/2002

Revised Ohio Tanning Regulations Finalized

by Rick Mattoon

Ohio, the nation's first state to formalize tanning regulations, has revised its existing tanning codes to require a bit more from its nearly 4,000 registered tanning facilities. These new regulations went into effect Jan. 1, 2002, but tanning salons across Ohio will have 180 days to comply with the new requirements.

In 1985, Ohio set a precedent by implementing the nation's first state tanning regulations that directly affected the operations of commercial indoor tanning facilities. Since 1985, dozens of other states, counties and local governments have followed suit and established regulations that affect indoor tanning at the salon level.

Temperature Becomes A Hot Issue

Ohio tanning facilities will need to pay closer attention to temperatures as the new code goes into effect. A new rule will require that tanning facilities be equipped to dissipate heat so that the interior temperature does not exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

To ensure proper temperatures, every tanning room within a tanning facility shall have a thermometer mounted at five feet above the floor. Near the thermometer must be a sign that states, "Patrons shall not tan if temperature is at 100 degrees or higher! Please report excessive heat to the operator immediately."

Formal Training Now Required

Indoor tanning owners and operators now have to meet specific training requirements if they operate a tanning salon in Ohio. Each tanning facility now must have on duty at all times an operator that possesses a "Tanning Operator's Certificate." This certificate only can be offered by a state-authorized training provider and is good for four years from the date of issuance.

Certificates issued by subsequently approved authorized providers, like the National Tanning Training Institute (NTTI), also shall be valid. This means that if you have attended an NTTI training course within the last four years, your NTTI certificate will be valid for four years from the date printed on the certificate. Proof of this training must be maintained within the facility and available for inspection at all times.

Also, each employee who assists customers or operates tanning devices shall be trained on the proper operation and maintenance of tanning devices. A formally trained operator of the tanning facility is responsible for training those employees or ensuring that those employees take an approved training course like that offered by NTTI. If the operator chooses to provide in-house employee training, that training must include:

1. Review of requirements of Ohio Administrative Code;

2. Procedures for correct cleaning, sanitizing and operation of the tanning devices;

3. Recognition of overexposure or similar injury;

4. Review of manufacturer's procedures for operation and maintenance of tanning devices;

5. Medical aspects of ultraviolet radiation, maximum allowable time of exposure, and determination of human skin types as it relates to compliant use of the FDA-recommended exposure schedule; and

6. Emergency procedures in case of overexposure or injury.

Any individual or organization requesting the Board of Cosmetology to review their training course must submit copies of their training materials to the Board prior to providing the training within Ohio.

Changes In Records Keeping

Another change for Ohio tanning salons will be in records keeping. Tanning facility operators now must maintain a record for each individual tanner, which includes dates exposed, length of exposure and other required data. This record must be completed and initialed by the consumer prior to each tanning session, and must be kept on file for one year from the date of the customer's last exposure. Among other information, the record will include the following:

1. Acknowledgement of receipt of protective eyewear;

2. Acknowledgement that the consumer has been advised of maximum exposure time for the session in the unit to which the tanner has been assigned;

3. All customers shall have their skin type computed and annotated on their customer card prior to their first tanning session.

Tanning facilities that maintain records on computer may use a single data sheet for all tanners in a single day--provided that the data then is transferred daily to each individual's file.

For a complete list of the revised Ohio Administrative Code for indoor tanning facilities, contact the Ohio Board of Cosmetology at (614) 466-3834 or online at

Again, although the new rules went into effect Jan. 1, Ohio tanning salons have 180 days to become complaint with the new code.


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