OOA Supports Indoor Tanning Restrictions for Minors

[August 30, 2019]

The OOA and other physician associations have backed soon-to-be-introduced legislation by State Rep. Brad Hillyer (R-Uhrichsville) to prohibit the sale of tanning bed ultraviolet (UV) radiation to people under the age of 18.

The medical community has become increasingly concerned about the link between UV tanning bed radiation and skin cancer. Twenty-five years ago, there were approximately 500,000 new cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year in the United States. Recently, there have been more than 3 million new cases diagnosed annually, with the number rising rapidly. Many of these skin cancers are preventable and skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US. For these reasons, the American Cancer Society recommends that people avoid tanning beds and sun lamps.

Additionally, it is well-accepted that people receive most of their dangerous lifetime exposure to UV radiation before the age of 18, and numerous studies indicate that skin cancer is closely associated with excessive UV light exposure before this age. Exposure to this form of radiation has dramatically increased since the advent of the tanning bed industry, with 17% of teenagers reportedly using tanning beds. It is estimated that at least one out of every five children will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

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