Allowing your 16-year-old daughter to tan at tanning booths may not be such a good idea.
Parents may need to be warned of a new study linking a higher risk of developing skin cancer later in life from indoor tanning bed usage by children. The findings showed exposure to indoor tanning before the age of 25 increased the rates of basal cell carcinomas (non-melanoma skin cancer) in young users. The study was published online (Oct. 2) in BMJ, the British general medical journal from a new analysis led by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).
It is known that ultraviolet (UV) radiation emits a cancer-causing factor that is associated with 90 percent of all skin cancers. Within this 90 percent risk, an additional risk jumps up to 75 percent if users start tanning in youth. The effects from UV tanning devices, both UVB and UVA output, are cumulative with more damaging effects if the person begins tanning at an early age.
Tanning restrictions for minors – state by state
Previous research found indoor tanning was associated with the less common form of skin cancer called malignant melanoma, but the new findings suggest the indoor tanning also increases the risks of the more common types of skin cancer (non-melanoma).
According to the National Cancer Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010), it was reported that 5.6 percent of the American people used indoor tanning salons, with higher user rates among women and young adults.
The researchers of the new study estimate that indoor tanning is responsible for more than 170,000 new cases (annually) of non-melanoma skin cancers in the United States.
While this information is distressing to parents, it should be noted that males still have a rate six times higher than females of developing skin cancers. Parents are advised to teach their children, both boys and girls, about the dangers of UV exposure.
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Tanning beds linked to non-melanoma skin cancer