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No More Tanning Beds for Teens: One State Bans Usage for Age 18 And Under

tanning bed skin cancer

Those who use indoor tanning beds have an increased risk of skin cancer.

Children under the age of 18 are now banned from using tanning beds in California.

Reuters reports that, “California had banned minors under the age of 14 from using tanning beds, but allowed those between 14 and 18 years of age to use tanning beds with parental consent.”  The new bill, signed by Governor Jerry Brown this past weekend, now prevents anyone 18 and under from using “ultraviolet tanning devices.”

In a released statement celebrating the bill’s passage, Ann F. Haas, MD, FAAD, past president of the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, explained “Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, but have been growing most rapidly — three percent per year — since 1992 among young women ages 15 to 39.”  Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), sponsor of the bill, added that skin cancer “… is the leading cause of cancer death for women between 25 and 29.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics has called for a nationwide ban on indoor tanning beds for children 18 and under, noting that 35 percent of 17-year-old girls use them. Texas has already banned children under the age of 16 from utilizing indoor tanning beds, and New York requires parental consent between the ages of 14 and 18.  Other states are considering measures limited the use of indoor tanning services by children, including Illinois, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island.

Some facts about indoor tanning and skin cancer from SkinCancer.org:

  • Nearly 30 million people tan indoors in the U.S. every year; 2.3 million of them are teens.
  • Seventy-one percent of tanning salon patrons are girls and women aged 16-29.
  • Indoor ultraviolet (UV) tanners are 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.
  • People who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.

Photo credit: skincancer.org

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