The global fight to stop teens’ indoor tanning, reduce skin cancer deaths
Governments around the world are banning the use of tanning beds for those younger than 18 in a move to protect children and young adults from skin cancer. Growing evidence shows indoor tanning is a direct risk for melanoma skin cancer cases and deaths, with a higher risk for people who use tanning beds under the age of 25. California, Vermont and 22 European countries prohibit teens from using tanning beds. Countries such as Brazil and Australia have enacted or plan to pass legislation that will ban cosmetic tanning completely.
The use of indoor tanning beds by teens remains a problem in the U.S. with 2.3 million teens visiting the tanning salon at least once a year. Experts claim there is still the perception that it’s safer to tan in a salon than in the sun. According to a recent CDC report, “UVA output from indoor tanning devices is four times higher and UVB output is twice as high as noon sunlight in Washington D.C. during the summer.” Health officials worldwide are fighting for tougher warnings and regulations on tanning bed machines that will inform and protect teen and young adult consumers.