Doctors group wants to ban tanning beds for minors
Doctors group MedChi will push for state legislation during next year's General Assembly session to prohibit the use of tanning devices by minors under the age of 18.
“The legislation will protect youth from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer," MedChi CEO Gene Ransom said in a statement.
The group said that millions of adolescents use indoor tanning facilities and nearly 25 percent of indoor tanning users ranged in age 13 to 19 years-old.
Researchers have linked the use of tanning devices early in life to an increased risk of the three most common skin cancers.
A large study from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston revealed that when compared with nonusers of tanning beds, the risk for basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma increased by 15 percent for every 4 visits made to a tanning salon per year, and the risk for melanoma increased by 11 percent.
A review of many studies estimates an overall 75 percent increased risk of developing melanoma associated with tanning bed use started before age 35, Medchi said.
Howard County passed local legislation prohibiting the use of tanning devices by minors under the age of 18 a number of years ago.
The United States also lags behind a number of other countries in Europe, by prohibiting use of tanning devices by minors, Medchi said.