-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, May 10 (HealthDay News) -- Many tanning salons in the
United States don't warn teens and young women about the skin
cancer risks posed by tanning beds, according to a new survey.
The American Academy of Dermatology's online poll included more
than 3,800 white females aged 14 to 22 from across the country who
were asked about their tanning knowledge, attitudes and
The survey found that 43 percent of indoor tanners said they had
never been warned about the dangers of tanning beds by tanning
salon employees, and 30 percent said they hadn't noticed any
warning labels on tanning beds.
And the survey revealed some potentially deadly misperceptions
about tanning beds.
Younger tanning bed users (aged 14 to 17) were twice as likely
as older users (aged 18 to 22) to incorrectly believe that tanning
beds are safer than the sun (39 percent versus 15 percent), and
more than three times as likely to incorrectly believe that tanning
beds do not cause skin cancer (26 percent versus 8 percent),
according to the results.
"Indoor tanning poses a significant health risk, especially for [white people] because of their fair skin. Studies have found that UV [ultraviolet] radiation from indoor tanning beds increases a person's risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent," Dr. Ronald L. Moy, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA), said in an academy news release.
"Contributing to this problem is the fact that tanning bed facilities currently are not required to verbally warn patrons of the known health risks of UV radiation and, in some cases, they may be misleading the public by falsely promoting artificial UV light as safer than natural sunlight," he added.
Moy noted that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently
classifies tanning beds as a Class I medical device. This means
they are subject to a minimal level of regulation and oversight,
similar to tongue depressors, bandages and crutches.
"That is why it's important that the FDA change the classification of indoor tanning devices to reflect the significant health risks that they pose, often unknowingly, to tanning salon patrons," Moy added.
The AADA supports the Tanning Bed Cancer Control Act, which
calls on the FDA to review its classification of indoor tanning
beds and to introduce enhanced consumer warning label rules for the
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about
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