advertisement
07 December 2016

Keeping minors from tanning beds can save many lives

Indoor tanning exposes people to ultraviolet radiation, a major risk factor for skin cancer – and using indoor tanning before age 35 increases melanoma risk.

0

Restricting people younger than 18 from indoor tanning could prevent thousands of skin cancers and deaths in the United States, according to a new study.

Potential health benefits

An age limitation would also save the country hundreds of millions of dollars in skin cancer treatment costs, researchers found.

"This research concretely demonstrates the potential health benefits of an under-18 age restriction for indoor tanning," said Dr Abel Torres, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association.

People who engage in indoor tanning are exposed to ultraviolet radiation, a major risk factor for skin cancer. Using indoor tanning before age 35 increases the risk of melanoma – the deadliest type of skin cancer – with each use, the researchers said.

Read: Tanning beds can be an addiction

Last year, the US Food and Drug Administration proposed a ban on indoor tanning by people younger than 18. At least a dozen states and the District of Columbia already have such laws.

In this study, researchers from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that this age restriction could prevent nearly 62,000 melanoma cases and more than 6,700 melanoma deaths over the lifetime of Americans who are currently 14 and younger. This would translate to a savings of $342.9 million in melanoma treatment costs, the researchers said.

A significant step

The findings were published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

The American Academy of Dermatology Association has supported the age restriction since the FDA proposed it last year, Torres said.

"We hope this study motivates the FDA to save lives and lower health care costs by finalising this proposal as soon as possible. Moreover, we hope these dramatic figures remind the public, especially young people, to stay out of indoor tanning beds," Torres said in a journal news release.

Read: Tanning beds can be an addiction

An age restriction on indoor tanning could be a significant step forward in the fight against skin cancer, agreed study author Gery Guy, a health economist at the CDC.

"By restricting the use of indoor tanning devices among minors, we could potentially save thousands of lives," Guy added.

Read more:

Sunbeds a killer

Sunbed ban for UK children

Rooibos fights skin cancer

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Live healthier

Here's some help... »

Combat childhood obesity Childhood obesity brings future health problems

3 ways to get young couch potatoes away from the screen

Are your children glued to their electronic devices? It might be time to start making some rules.

Time for a break? »

Stressful job leads to emotional burnout Work burnout tied to emotional eating

This is why you must take annual leave

Avoid burnout and use your annual leave to get some well-deserved rest. Your body and mind will thank you.