Tanning Beds Linked to Upswing in Deadly Melanoma

The road to melanoma is paved by visits to the tanning bed in young people. Twenty percent of high school girls have used tanning beds and 10 percent use them more than 10 times a year. The death rate from melanoma in the United States has increased consistently since 1930. The World Health Organization has blamed tanning beds for the recent upswing in the disease. Each year, physicians in the United States diagnose 76,000 new cases of melanoma and report more than 9,700 deaths. The 10-year survival rate of untreated melanoma is approximately zero. Brazil and Australia have banned the use of tanning beds for all of their citizens, and 11 European countries have banned their use by people younger than 21. An editorial by Scientific American called for national legislation banning the use of tanning beds by minors. The ban is supported by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

Source: Scientific American, April 2015

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