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Indoor Tanning and Skin Cancer

Tanning salons across the country are gearing up for wedding and prom season. But whether young women don’t know—or don’t care—we need to let them know they are endangering their lives, warns Dr. Cheryl Karcher, educational spokesperson for The Skin Cancer Foundation.

Nearly one in three women ages 18 to 24 are tanning indoors and almost quarter of them are oblivious to its dangers, according to research published in the Archives of Dermatology.

So, don’t delay. Tell the women in your life that staying away from indoor tanning salons can save their skin—and maybe even their lives.

Need proof? Read on for 5 facts about indoor tanning from the Skin Cancer Foundation:

1. Tanning beds emit UV radiation, which causes skin cancer.

2.  People who tan indoors are three times more likely to develop melanoma (the deadliest skin cancer), 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell cancer, and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell cancer than those who don’t.

3. The International Agency for Research on Cancer includes ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices in its Group 1 list of the most dangerous cancer-causing substances, along plutonium, cigarettes, and solar UV radiation.

4. Frequent tanners using new high-pressure sunlamps may receive as much as 12 times the annual UVA dose compared to the dose they receive from sun exposure.

5. Ten minutes in a tanning bed matches the cancer-causing effects of 10 minutes in the Mediterranean summer sun.

New York state wants to ban minors from indoor tanning salons, and we agree it’s a smart move. What’s your opinion?

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  • Jessica Embury

    Personally I use tanning beds and I have been told that many people do not take precautions like they should and that is why they can be so harmful. Precautions such as wearing eye protection, using indoor tanning lotions, and making sure you do not get burnt or have overexposure are critical.

  • Annabelle

    16 is the limit on minor-age use of suntan beds. If it is a special occasion for a little darling, spray tan works…