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Video: New Jersey ‘tan mom’ inspires legislators

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    >>> the new jersey mom accused of taking her young daughter to a tanning salon has certainly attracted a lot of attention. now that case may lead to some changes in the tanning industry. nbc's mara schiavocampo is in nutly, new jersey, with more on that. mara , good morning to you.

    >> matt, good morning. new jersey is home to roughly 400 tanning salons, and many of their customers are teens. now, some state lawmakers say that soaking up artificial rays is downright dangerous for young people , and they want them kept out of tanning beds altogether. so-called tan mom patricia krentcil, continues to get lots of attention. following allegations the 44-year-old new jersey mother took her then-5-year-old daughter tanning with her. krentcil says she's innocent, but her daughter came with her to the salon, but never was exposed to any tanning . krentcil's overly tanned appearance has made her a national celebrity. even getting her roasted on "saturday night live."

    >> piece of bread. put it between my thighs.

    >> oh, my gosh.

    >> reporter: while krentcil may be trying to laugh it off.

    >> that was hysterical.

    >> reporter: others say it's no laughing matter. some new jersey lawmakers are hoping all the attention on krentcil's case will revive efforts to pass anti- tanning legislation for minors. an old bill reintroduced this year would prohibit a person under 18 years of age from using a tanning bed in a tanning facility.

    >> if you start tanning as a teenager, you're 74 times more likely to get a malignant melanoma as a younger adult than you would otherwise.

    >> reporter: 27-year-old allison doherty knows that all too well. at 21 she was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma after years of tanning as a teen.

    >> something like a melanoma diagnosis doesn't just affect you. it also affects everyone else around you. this is where i might get emotional. because, you know, i remember, you know, my parents feeling like -- like it was their fault. and it wasn't their fault.

    >> reporter: in a statement to nbc news, the indoor tanning association says the risks of artificial tanning are exaggerated. writing, quote, it is a fact that ultraviolet light from a sunbed is the same as that from the sun, and regular, moderate non-burning exposure is essential for good health. as for patricia krentcil, it seems her 15 minutes of fame didn't end with that "snl" sketch. she is the inspiration behind this action figure. krentcil is due back in court on june 4th . now as for the salon, they say that krentcil's daughter was never allowed in the room with her mother while she was tanning . meanwhile, here in new jersey, currently 14 to 17-year-olds are required to have parental consent for indoor tanning . that would change if this bill passes. the bill is currently in committee. officials say it will be voted on very soon.

    >> mara , thank you very much.

updated 5/9/2012 10:44:21 AM ET 2012-05-09T14:44:21

The 'Tanorexic' doll.

The New Jersey mom accused of child tanning abuse is still riding her 15-minutes-of-fame wave

Now she's inspired the 'Tanorexic doll.' It's made by HeroBuilders.com and costs $30.

Read the full story at NBCPhiladelphia.com

"Yes of course she inspired it," said Hero Builders founder, Emil Vicale. "Why would I make something as hideous as this?!

"This is our first ugly doll," Vicale said, laughing. "Maybe this is a new genre for us!"

Video: New Jersey ‘tan mom’ inspires legislators (on this page)

Patricia Krentcil, who admittedly loves to tan, is charged with child endangerment.

What caused tanning mom's leathery look?

The Essex County Prosecutor says she put her five-year-old daughter into a tanning bed and let her stay there long enough to get burned. Krentcil pleaded not guilty to that charge last week. She says her daughter got sunburned the old-fashioned way, hanging out in the yard without the proper protection.

Video: ‘SNL’ takes on ‘tanning mom’ (on this page)

The day after her court appearance, Krentcil told a camera crew that she was innocent and that the charges were the result of a witch hunt, probably by someone who was "fat, jealous and ugly."


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