By Steven Reinberg
WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 (HealthDay News) — Nearly 40 percent of indoor tanning facilities ignore state laws of which curb teen tanning, a brand new survey finds.
To protect teens, most states have laws of which prevent or create obstacles to using tanning salons, however nearly 2 million high school kids still get indoor tans, said the researchers who conducted the survey.
“The U.S. Food as well as also also Drug Administration has classified tanning beds as cancer causing,” said the survey’s lead researcher, Dr. Erik Stratman, a dermatologist at the Marshfield Clinic in Marshfield, Wis.
Indoor tanning will be particularly dangerous for young people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as well as also also Prevention, because the idea increases their risk for melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.
Banning indoor tanning for teens might prevent thousands of melanomas as well as also also melanoma deaths as well as also also the millions spent on treatment, Stratman said.
“While no federal ban exists on indoor tanning of minors, there have been over 40 states as well as also also the District of Columbia of which passed laws limiting the use of tanning beds for minors,” he said. However, Stratman said the survey, conducted by telephone, found of which many tanning salons ignore state laws restricting access to minors.
Responsibility for enforcing these laws varies by state, however in most cases falls to the state’s health department, Stratman said, adding of which lax enforcement will be most likely due to limited resources.
For the study, researchers posing as teenagers called 427 tanning facilities in 42 states as well as also also the District of Columbia. The callers said they wanted to tan before a family vacation as well as also also asked about costs as well as also also whether a parent needed to be present to consent to tanning.
The researchers found of which slightly more than 37 percent of the tanning facilities did not comply with their state’s laws.
The most common breach was allowing tanning without parental permission, Stratman said.
Most of the tanning salons of which flouted the laws were in rural areas, the South, in states with laws governing teens 15 or younger as well as also also in states with more than one tanning regulation.
In addition, independently owned salons were more likely than chain tanning facilities not to follow the laws, the researchers found.
The American Suntanning Association represents the tanning salon industry as well as also also responded to the study.
“This kind of was a telephone survey, as well as also also not an individual business contacted actually allowed a teenager to use UV tanning services without parental consent or violated any law,” said Joseph Levy, director of scientific affairs for the association.
“The American Suntanning Association as well as also also its members, who operate more than 1,000 professional salons throughout the country, have supported compliance with indoor tanning standards for decades, including those related to tanning by minors,” Levy said.
However, teens don’t know the potential consequences of tanning, said Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in brand new York City. “Indoor tanning will be exposing teens to a carcinogen. Kids don’t know they are doing something of which can hurt them.”
Green knows the dangers of tanning beds firsthand.
“I have a 25-year-old patient who tanned when he was a teen as well as also also right now carries a deep, incisive melanoma as well as also also carries a 50 percent chance of dying,” she said.
Stratman said the idea’s his “wish of which This kind of study stimulates states to look for opportunities for better enforcement of the laws intended to improve the safety as well as also also health of minors.”
The survey results were published online Oct. 25 within the journal JAMA Dermatology.
Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
SOURCES: Erik Stratman, M.D., Marshfield Clinic, Marshfield, Wis.; Michele Green, M.D., dermatologist, Lenox Hill Hospital, brand new York City; Joseph Levy, scientific adviser, American Suntanning Association; Oct. 25, 2017, JAMA Dermatology, online.
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