Artificial tanning: frequently requested information

Starting a business

Download the Artificial Tanning Packet or call 303-692-3620 to get it. It includes information on registration requirements, an application from the Artificial Tanning Device Operations Act and information on regulations.
Before operating the facility, you must submit the application and $120 registration fee to:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South A2
Denver, CO 80246

Registration fee and renewal

Registration costs $120 per year, and your facility will be billed each year.
The registration fee for a new artificial tanning business will be prorated on a monthly basis from any initial registration at $10 a month. For example, a new artificial tanning business opening in August will have to pay $50 for the five remaining months of the year.
Registrations are non-transferable. A new owner must obtain his or her own license before operating.

Age limits

Our regulations don’t specify an age limit. However, artificial tanning businesses can set age limits for using their devices.

Turning off the device

Every artificial tanning device must have a control to let customers turn off the equipment without disconnecting the electrical plug or removing a lamp.

Warning requirements

Tanning facilities must give consumers a copy of a warning statement about ultraviolet radiation, addressing:
  • Photosensitizing medications or cosmetics that may increase sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation exposure and may have negative health effects.
  • Different skin types that react differently when exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
  • Required protective eyewear.
  • Situations when tanning isn’t advised.

Protective eyewear

Operators must provide customers with protective eyewear while they’re using tanning equipment. However, customers may use their own protective eyewear if the tanning operator approves it.

Spray-on tanning

We don’t regulate spray-on tanning.

Replacement lamps

Replacement lamps needn’t be the same make and model listed on the tanning device, but they must be certified with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as "equivalent" lamps.
You must keep equivalency sheets when using a different lamp/bulb from what's indicated on the tanning device. The equivalency sheet has information regarding the make/model of the lamp/bulb and what other makes/models of lamps/bulbs can be used in the tanning equipment.

Disposing of old bulbs

A high percentage of tanning bed bulbs contain heavy metals, particularly mercury. Except for those used in homes, all lamps and bulbs containing heavy metals must be disposed of through a permitted recycler for hazardous lighting waste, or be delivered to a permitted hazardous waste treatment, storage or disposal facility.
Municipal solid waste landfills in Colorado aren’t allowed to accept non-residential hazardous waste for disposal. Bulbs must be sent out of state for recycling or disposal.
Some local companies will pick up bulbs from facilities and ship them out of state. Other companies use mail-in programs, which allow business owners to purchase a postage-prepaid box to hold old bulbs.

Labeling tanning devices

Tanning devices must be labeled with:
  • Exposure schedule.
  • Lamp designation.
  • Certification label.
  • Danger statement.

Master timers

Master timers can be mechanical, digital or computerized. The master time can’t exceed the artificial tanning device maximum recommended exposure time.
The master timer must be tested annually and not exceed plus or minus 10 percent of the maximum timer interval for the period. The time test must be documented.

Sanitizing frequency

Tanning devices and shared protective eyewear must be properly sanitized by the operator after every use by a consumer.
You must use a sanitizer approved for use in artificial tanning establishments and registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the Colorado Department of Agriculture.
You must follow the sanitizer instructions and make sure the sanitizer has proper contact time with the tanning equipment and eyewear.