Tanning beds emit a heavy dose of UV light, roughly ten to fifteen times the amount you would get sitting outside at noon.
That sun splurge significantly increases the risk for skin cancer, and that risk goes up the earlier you start.
Yet young adults are not prohibited from tanning in many parts of the country.
Now experts are calling on states and the food and drug administration to beef up tanning bed restrictions, before teenage melanoma cases skyrocket.
M.D. Lynn Anne Cornelius, Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis says, "Exposure of any type of any tanning bed elicited at 75% increased risk for melanoma."
the risks are higher the earlier you start tanning, yet in many states, there are no age limits for tanning bed use.
M.D. Sophie Balk, The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, says, "Seventeen states in this country have absolutely no legislation to protect minors."
In California and Vermont, the minimum age to tan is 18. In Missouri, no age restrictions are in place.
In 2007, researchers there surveyed local tanning salons about their rules on youth tanning.
Cornelius, "two thirds of the um facilities would allow a 10-12 year old individual to tan, some of these said a parent didn't need to be consented or present."
Balk, "we'd like all states to pass legislation prohibiting minors under 18 from tanning in salons."
States are getting on board, more than thirty have some sort of tanning bed restriction in place for teens. Several other states like Missouri have legislation in the works.
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