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President of the County Cork Association in New York says fake tan companies are blocking ban that was previously passed. Photo by: Flickr

Fake tan cancer risk for young Irish dancers says Irish community leader

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President of the County Cork Association in New York says fake tan companies are blocking ban that was previously passed. Photo by: Flickr

Denis McCarthy, the president of the County Cork Association in New York, and the father of two Irish dancers, has called for the immediate ban of fake tans for all Irish dancers. The governing body recently initiated a ban on makeup and false eyelashes but did not ban fake tan.

This does not go far enough says Dennis McCarthy who claims there is now clear evidence that fake tans can cause cancer.

He states “The State of New Jersey passed a significant spray tan ban on April 1, 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law banning children under the age of 17 from using commercial indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanning bed in New Jersey. Although New Jersey had already prohibited anyone under the age of 14 from tanning because of the risk of skin cancer, the new law increases the ban to all minors under the age of 17.

“Additionally, the new law bans children under the age of 14 from getting spray tans in tanning salons and requires minors who are age 17 and older to have a parent or guardian present for an initial consultation with a tanning salon.

“Parents are extremely opposed to this practice, as it sends the wrong message to young women; that the color of their skin (Irish descent) is not good enough – yet the majority are afraid to speak up because the propagators of these (Irish spray tan companies) hold influential positions in the NAFC & IDTANA, (Irish dance organizations) resembling a “quid pro quo” scandal of support...all at the expense of our children’s health and innocence!”

McCarthy says he has been trying for some time to put an end to the fake tanning.

“Since, September of 2012, I have endeavored to bring to light the ridiculous and unsafe practice of tanning/ bronzing girls and young women in Irish dance.

“I am the proud father of two successful dancers who love Irish dance. As a father, I love Irish dance because it encourages confidence, commitment, independence, organization, integrity, practice/ self-discipline, ambition, school/ ceili team spirit, sportswomanship, learning defeat, accomplishment, joy, creativity, love of an ancient art form and culture, and my daughters love for it.

“I have researched the topic of “fake tans” extensively and have petitioned the NAFC (North American Feis Commission), the IDTANA (Irish Dance Teachers Association of North America) and An Coimisiún le RincíGaelacha, Dublin to restore the rule put in place in January 2005 for under-10 dancers forbidding them to wear fake tan, and in October 2005 it was decided that under-12 dancers who were in the beginner and primary levels would not be allowed to wear fake tan or makeup.

“In light of the recent information linking fake tan with cancer, potentially causing “mutagenic” effects on adolescent girls reproductive systems – this recent ruling, nor the previous 2005 ruling that mysteriously disappeared from the Coimisiún for the last nine years doesn’t go far enough!

“It is unfortunate that most parents are extremely opposed to this practice, as it sends the wrong message to young women; that the color of their skin (Irish descent) is not good enough – yet the majority are afraid to speak up because the propagators of these (Irish spray tan companies) hold influential positions in the NAFC and IDTANA, resembling a “quid pro quo” scandal of support...all at the expense of our children’s health and innocence.”

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