The Public Health Department enforces the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations governing commercial use of tanning beds. These regulations provide certain safety requirements and standards for operating tanning beds.

People who use tanning beds are exposed to intense ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which damages the skin and can lead to skin cancer, including melanoma—the deadliest type of skin cancer. As with natural sunlight, exposure to a sunlamp in a tanning bed may cause eye and skin injury and allergic reaction. Repeated exposure may cause chronic damage characterized by wrinkling, dryness, fragility, bruising of the skin, and skin cancer. Learn more on the state’s Warning For Tanning Facility Operators and Customers.

Please note that Massachusetts law prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from using or operating a tanning device as youths are more susceptible to skin damage.

Permit Process 

Per regulation 105 CMR 123.000, in order for a business to have tanning beds, businesses must apply for an annual tanning bed permit. Permits expire yearly on December 31. Once an application is submitted, the inspector will conduct a site inspection (first-time and annually) to ensure that requirements for safety procedures, warning signs, and restrictions on who can use or operate tanning equipment are met.

Establishments with one or more tanning beds are required to have a tanning bed permit, in addition to other business licenses and permits that are necessary to operate a business in Cambridge.

If a public establishment wants to add tanning beds or replace old tanning beds, they should notify the Cambridge Public Health Department.


Updated: August 12, 2022