FDA Moves to Ban Tanning Beds for Teens

People with nice tans look healthy and sexy. It’s not surprising that more than 25 million Americans used indoor tanning beds last year. Looks are deceiving— tanning beds are anything but healthy. Tanning can lead to premature skin aging and skin cancer. A Scandinavian study of more than 100,000 women found that those who used tanning beds increased the risk of melanoma— a deadly form of skin cancer— by 55 percent. Younger people (20-30 years old) who used the beds increased their risk by 150 percent. Cancer risk was greatest in blonds and redheads, and people with a history of severe sunburn during childhood. The 10-year survival rate for people with undiagnosed melanoma is zero, so this skin cancer is a serious matter. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked for a ban against the non-medical use of artificial tanning equipment. Unfortunately, indoor tanning businesses will thrive as long as Americans see tans as attractive and healthy. (The New York Times, December 18, 2016)

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