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: FDA proposes tanning bed age restrictions and other important safety measures 
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Protect Arizona Minors from Tanning Beds

Arizona Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery Society

Sign below to support legislation to restrict underage tanning in Arizona.

Protect Arizona Minors from Tanning Beds


Arizona widely accepts the notion that minors lack the decision making capacity to protect themselves from harm.  We do not allow our children to own guns, purchase alcohol or tobacco.  We attempt to guide their decisions and protect them from harm.  Yet we allow them to lay inside of a cancer-causing radiation-emitting device backed by a strong lobby: tanning beds.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a working group of the World Health Organization, classifies ultraviolet (UV) radiation-emitting tanning devices - tanning beds and lamps - amongst the most dangerous forms of cancer-causing radiation. It joins an assembly of hazardous substances including plutonium and certain types of radium, as well as radiation from the sun.

o   IARC cited research showing that tanning is especially hazardous to young people; those who use sunbeds before age 30 increase their lifetime risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 75 percent.  

o   Melanoma will kill an estimated 8,650 people in the US this year alone. Studies have found a 59 percent increase in the risk of melanoma in those who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning, and the risk increases with each use.  

o   Research demonstrates that even people who do not burn after indoor tanning or sun exposure are at an increased risk of melanoma if they tan indoors.  And melanoma isn't the only problem: people who use tanning beds are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma and 1.5 times more likely to develop basal cell carcinoma.

o   Squamous cell carcinoma kills an estimated 2,500 Americans a year.  Even one indoor tanning session can increase users’ risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by 67% and basal cell carcinoma by 29%.

Dermatologists and other physicians have seen first-hand the skin cancers caused by a history of tanning in their patients.  

o   Despite what the tanning industry would try to make you believe, we do not have any vested interest in restricting tanning other than the well-being of our patients (most of us make our living removing skin cancer).

Other states have passed laws banning minors use of tanning beds:

o   California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Nevada, Texas and Vermont have passed laws that prohibit minors under the age of 18 from indoor tanning.

o   Oregon and Washington have passed laws prohibiting minors under the age of 18 years old from using indoor tanning devices, unless a physician prescription is provided.

o   Connecticut, New Jersey and New York have passed legislation banning minors under the age of 17 from using tanning devices.

Do we really need artificial radiation for our children in Arizona? Just look up in the sky. There is no shortage of natural UV radiation in Arizona.

Courtesy of the AAD, WHO and Skin Cancer Foundation.  Thanks for letting us borrow your hard work to make a difference locally.