SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 30 (UPI) — Indoor tanning is associated with a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma, yet nearly 30 million Americans do it every year, doctors say.
The World Health Organization has called on prohibiting minors from indoor tanning because of the danger of skin cancer. Currently, 32 U.S. states restrict access to indoor tanning beds by minors, but more states are considering legislation.
“These national and statewide efforts send a clear message to Americans, especially young people, that tanning is not safe and that a tan is not a sign of good health,” Dr. William D. James, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association, said in a statement. “Indoor tanning is an unhealthy activity and ultraviolet radiation exposure increases one’s risk of skin cancer.”
The Legislature in Massachusetts is considering a bill that would prohibit the use of indoor tanning devices for all minors under the age of 16 and would require in-person parental consent for those ages 16-17. About 2.3 million U.S. teens use indoor tanning facilities, James said.
Texas has the most restrictive state law, prohibiting those under 16 1/2 from using tanning beds. In Georgia, a new law goes into effect Thursday that prohibits those under the age of 14 from using indoor tanning facilities and requires those ages 14-18 to have in-person parental consent before use, James added.
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