The Dangers of Indoor Tanning Salons Near Schools
A study done in Massachusetts showed that tanning salons are an average of only 1 mile away from middle schools, high schools, and universities. More schools were within a mile of a tanning salon than a McDonalds.
Tanning beds cause skin cancer, including the deadly form called melanoma. Tanning beds are particularly dangerous for young people because tanning at an early age significantly increases the risk of all skin cancers. In fact, melanoma is the #1 from of cancer in 25-29 year old women, and the incidence of melanoma is increasing, likely in large part, to the frequent use of indoor tanning in this segment of the population. Women under 30 who use tanning beds are 6 times more likely to develop melanoma.
Tanning Indoors Vs. Outdoors
Tanning indoors is not safer than a sun tan. In fact, indoor tanning gives your skin a higher dose of ultraviolet (UV) light than the sun does and in a shorter time. More than 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the US each year can be attributed to indoor tanning.
This study highlights the importance of restricting access to tanning salons and expanding public health campaigns to educate minors and schools about the dangers of indoor tanning and other methods to prevent skin cancer. Brazil and Australia have banned indoor tanning.
It is our hope that, with further education about the known risks, the US will do the same.